The Rushdie Affair

Iranian soldiers march during a military parade as they mark the country’s annual army day in Tehran, on April 18, 2019. – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on Middle East states on April 18 to “drive back Zionism”, in an Army Day tirade against the Islamic republic’s archfoe Israel. Speaking flanked by top general as troops paraded in a show of might, Rouhani also sought to reassure the region that the weaponry on display was for defensive purposes and not a threat. (Photo by – / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

Salman Rushdie in 1988 wrote the Book The Satanic Verses, a book few read and even fewer understood. An Indian Muslim by birth and educated in England it was not until the book was published in the US that suddenly it became a sensation.  Still few  read it  but excerpts lifted from the book outraged the anointed ones in Tehran and the great philosopher, Grand Ayatollah , and God’s representative on Earth , Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini decided on a death sentence for Rushdie. Obviously one of his smart young handlers brought to his attention the “Blasphemous”  verses in the book.  Maybe was that Georgetown University fan of  Khomeini fan Sadegh  Ghotbzadeh.( Executed in 1982). Enemies of God are everywhere apparently.!!!  Now Rushdie is depicted , by those who have had dealings with him, as a typical British megalomanic intellectual, anti -America, pretty well contemptuous of the great unwashed, who are unable to understand his esoteric writing . I never read the  book. but I read a lot about it by people who claim superior intelligence. Some academics, such as Bernard Lewis did make some  sense of the mostly murky writing. He also explained in very erudite terms  why Khomeini as the self appointed head of the Shia world of Islam…(and probably in the Gand Ayatollah’s mind, the Sunni world as well) condemned the book. The  God King Ayatollah  Khomeini then passed the death sentence on Rushdie. Coming from “God” it was considered irrevocable.

In any event the demonstrations of outraged Muslims in the West, ( as usual America was the first victim of violent protests despite having  no connection to Rushdie ) and lots of academic mush printed about it, created a huge market for the book. Those who bought it probably  read a few pages and then put  it prominently  on a book shelf to be displayed should they be interviewed on TV.

Some years later,  Khomeini’s successor ( Ali Khamenei) downplayed the death sentence, but apparently the assailant of Rushdie did not get the word. Much more likely, like the scheme to kill John Bolton and Mike Pompeo it is an Iranian paid assassination attempt. No doubt, critics of Iranian Islamism, and their crass  imperialism,  or even some aspect of Islam, will take notice and the liberal left wing marshmallows who control book publishing and the media  will be filled with trepidation. The NYT and WaPo after some tepid  reproofs will see the Assailant as another  deranged Muslim whom was known by his neighbors as a nice friendly fellow. Well I could be wrong!!!There is always the  chance the assailant could be a “white Nationalist.” In that case one can bet that the  Department of “Justice” and the FBI  will  be all over it.

The clueless  Western Foreign Service  snow flakes  who  negotiate withe Iranian terrorist regime  on the NUC plan (JCPOA)   will not connect the dots. They are not intellectually  discerning or physically  brave enough to do so.

As Jean-Fracois Revel wrote in his book “How Democracies Perish,  “Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is working to destroy it.”Unless free people are willing to oppose totalitarianism, democracy may perish. So we must defend insufferable snobs who write balderdash because our republic and freedom hangs on it .


About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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