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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 08:44 PM
Original message
Writers slam Islamic 'totalitarianism'
The recent violence surrounding the publication in the West of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad illustrate the danger of religious "totalitarianism," Salman Rushdie and a group of other writers have said in a statement.

Rushdie, French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy and exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen were among those putting their names to the statement, to be published on Wednesday in the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, one of several French newspapers which reprinted the controversial cartoons.

"After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global threat: Islamism," they wrote.

...

The others who signed the statement were: Somali-born Dutch feminist, writer and filmmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Iranian writer Chahla Chafiq, who is exiled in France; French writer Caroline Fourest; Irshad Manji, a Ugandan refugee and writer living in Canada; Mehdi Mozaffari, an Iranian academic exiled in Denmark; Maryam Namazie, an Iranian writer living in Britain; Antoine Sfeir, director of a French review examining the Middle East; Charlie Hebdo, director Philippe Val; and Ibn Warraq, a US academic of Indian and Pakistani origin who wrote a book titled Why I Am not a Muslim.

snip

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9F873D63-8FE0-47...
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Religious fundamentalism is the biggest threat in the world
Both the Islamic and Christian varieties.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. At this time
it seems that Radical Islamic fundamentalism poses greater problems than the Christian variey. Rushdie, one of the world's greatest writers is a case in point. I'm not sure how great a threat Islamic fundamentalism really is but when Rushdie makes a statement like this, I lsten.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. And he should know
He's lucky to be alive.
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. More on the fatwa and its consequences:
"On February 14, 1989, a fatwa requiring Rushdie's execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran, calling the book "blasphemous against Islam." As the novel also suggested that Rushdie no longer believed in Islam, Khomeini also condemned him for apostasy, which according to the Hadith is punishable by death. Khomeini indicated that it was the responsibility of all "zealous Muslims" to execute Rushdie and the publishers who were aware of its concepts:

In the name of God Almighty. There is only one God, to whom we shall all return. I would like to inform all intrepid Muslims in the world that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses, which has been compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran, as well as those publishers who were aware of its contents, have been sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, wherever they find them, so that no one will dare insult the Islamic sanctities. Whoever is killed on this path will be regarded as a martyr, God willing. In addition, anyone who has access to the author of the book, but does not possess the power to execute him, should refer him to the people so that he may be punished for his actions. May Gods blessing be on you all. Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini.

On February 24 1989, Khomeini offered a U.S.$ 3 million bounty for the death of Rushdie, who was then forced to live for a time under British-financed security.

Meanwhile, further violence occurred around the world, with the firebombing of bookstores at the University of California at Berkeley which stocked the novel, and the offices of The Riverdale Press, a weekly newspaper in The Bronx, in response to an editorial which defended the right to read the book. On February 24, five people were shot and killed by the police during a protest outside the British consulate in Bombay. Several other people died in Egypt and elsewhere. Muslim communities throughout the world held public rallies in which copies of the book were burned. In 1991, Rushdie's Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed and killed at the university where he taught in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, north of Tokyo, and his Italian translator was beaten and stabbed in Milan. In 1993, Rushdie's Norwegian publisher William Nygaard was shot and severely injured in an attack outside his house in Oslo. Thirty-seven people died when their hotel in Sivas, Turkey was burnt down by locals protesting against Aziz Nesin, Rushdie's Turkish translator."

snip

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Rushdie

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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I agree, but many on this board have deaf ears or blinders
when it comes Islsmic Fundamentalism. They always blame some one else.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I agree
That some here minimize the fact than an author received an official state-sanctioned death threat for his artistic work is disgusting. How can a liberal not be appalled by such violent suppression of free speech and idea exchange?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. It's hard stuff to talk about
No one here wants to see themselves as intolerant of a culture as a whole. I know I don't, so it's difficult to focus on aspects of a culture that are troubling without coming off as if you're just trashing the whole thing. Or something like that.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. All extremists or strict ideologists are a danger,...
,...especially if they hold any power or influence.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yup. I'm gonna go with religious fundamentalism and dogma in general.
I think major religions tend to experience natural life cycles- part of the problem with Islam is that it is in it's Spanish Inquisition phase now, around 1400 or 1500 years old.

If we, as a species, could make rights of conscience, choice, and not imposing your particular mental maps and the peculiarities of one's own Belief System on one's neighbor (and yes, I'm aware that that, too, is a belief system or meta belief system) then I think we'd all be much happier.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. There may
well be something to the theory that major religions pass through certain cycles. If that's true then each cycle is effected by the time in which they're existing.

Your belief system, quite simply, is tolerance, which, as EM Forester once noted, is a dull virtue, one that has never had a statue raised to it, or an ode written in its honor, but is the quality most needed for humans to get along.

With all that said, if you're right and Islam is in its Spanish Inquisition stage, than that does make it a rpressive force and one that's hostile to individual conscience.
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Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. As an FYI, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the writer of "Submission" whose director
- Theo van Gogh - was murdered by an Islamic fundamentalist.

You can watch it here:

http://homepage.mac.com/keld_bach/.Public/submissionpar...

(Its full title is "Submission - Part 1" so the file name is correct.)
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. More about Van Gogh and his murder:
"Van Gogh was murdered in the early morning of Tuesday November 2, 2004, in Amsterdam in front of the Amsterdam East borough office (stadsdeelkantoor) on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat streets. He was shot with eight bullets from a HS2000 (a handgun produced in 2000 in Croatia) and died on the spot. His throat was slit, and he was then stabbed in the chest. Two knives were left implanted in his torso, one pinning a five-page note to his body. The note (Text) threatened Western governments, Jews and Hirsi Ali (who went into hiding). The note also contains references to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra.

The murderer Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch citizen, was apprehended by the police after being shot in the leg. Although born in Amsterdam, well-educated and apparently well-integrated, Bouyeri has alleged terrorist ties with the Dutch Hofstad Network. He was also charged with attempted murder of a police officer and bystander, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiring to murder others, including Hirsi Ali. He was convicted on July 26, 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Until his murder Van Gogh was working on a movie about the assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. The film was officially released on the internet on December 15, 2004 and had its cinema premiere on January 30, 2005.

Van Gogh was cremated on November 9, 2004 in Amsterdam. During the memorial service Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' was played; a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of booze were placed on the coffin."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_%28film_dire...

The text of the note attached to van Gogh's chest is linked within the article. I hadn't seen it before.



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