If it’s Friday in Pakistan, it’s flag-burnin’ and effigy-hangin’ time. Today, imams will be inveighing against Salman Rushdie, Britain, and the West’s incorrigible infidels. I know: When are they not? Here’s my column on Rushdie Rage from earlier this week. The conclusion:
The deaf and blind will dismiss this latest episode of manufactured Muslim outrage as a marginal outburst. But Rushdie, the target of death threats dating back to 1988 over his book “The Satanic Verses,” has seen enough performances of Jihad Theater to take proper precautions. He has requested police protection after an Iranian group put a $150,000 bounty on his head. Forouz Raja’ee-Far, secretary general of the Headquarters for Honoring the Martyrs of Islam World Movement, offered the prize because, after all, “it is an obligation for all Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie even if he repents from the bottom of his heart and becomes the pious man of the time.”
What does the Council on American-Islamic Relations have to say? Their website has a special “incitement watch” and “action alerts” section for its (dwindling number of) members — but as of Tuesday afternoon, not a peep about the incitement of hatred and violence against Rushdie. They’ll eventually pay lip service to The Religion of Peace, but do not forget Rule No. 5 in the jihadi’s guide to etiquette: “You can lie if you do this for jihad.”
Pakistani government officials are bleating about the need for “interfaith understanding” and sensitivity. In Washington for meetings with the Bush administration, Pakistan’s foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri cooed: “When we talk of a globalized world, we have to be sensitive to each other’s concerns.”
As anyone with their eyes open through Rushdie’s ordeal, the deadly Mohammed cartoons riots, the calls for beheading the Pope, Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and defiant, ex-Muslim apostates around the world knows: “Sensitivity” in the jihadi world is a one-way, dead-end street.
Muslims angered by Britain’s decision to honor author Salman Rushdie with a knighthood were rallying in London Friday, warning anger over the award could match the fierce reaction to publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark in 2006.
Organizers of a protest outside Regent’s Park Mosque, London, claimed several hundred demonstrators planned to denounce the decision to reward Rushdie, whose novel “The Satanic Verses” led to a death threat from Iran in 1989.
“This knighthood is just another example of Tony Blair and his government’s attempts to secularize Muslims and reward apostates,” said Anjem Choudray, protest organizer and an ex-head of the British wing of the banned radical group al-Muhajiroun.
“Rushdie is a hate figure across the Muslim world because of his insults to Islam,” Choudray said. “This honor will have ramifications here and across the world” just as with the protests over the Danish cartoon.
Snapped Shot has more photos of the simmering conflagration. Here’s my favorite expression of aggrievement. Break out your Kleenex:
More updates throughout the day. Those of you familiar with the professional protesters who came out for the Danish cartoon riots may remember Islamic Rage Boy:
Well, he’s baaack.
Allah takes a closer look at the Rushdie Rage gallery.