Cited Works Essay
In the editorial piece “Yes, this is about Islam” (Rushdie, 2001) Salman Rushdie tells the US and the world the opposite of what the American administration is saying. Only two months after the US was in panic and mourning over the destruction of their world trade centers Salman Rushdie wrote that their is a religiously motivated agenda working behind these attacks. He does differentiate between between ‘Islamic’ radicalized terrorists and neutral minded Muslims but he says they are all Muslims just different kinds. He learned when researching his first book Satanic Verses (Rushdie, 1988) that there was ‘already de rigueur in the Muslim world to blame all its troubles on the West.’ (Rushdie, 2001). So in this article he is trying to say to the people that this is about Muslim and not just Islamic radicalized terrorism as the two are one in the other that will come at the West in full force if not ‘reconciled with modernity’ (Rushdie, 2001)
Personally Salman Rushdie has been a target and wanted to show that he is not afraid of them. ‘Does this editorial piece does he have his own private agenda?’ The answer is a solid ‘Yes’. Salman Rushdie is an author and like many authors it is good to be thrown into conflict and put on television with the end goal of selling more books and possibly writing more books. For Salman Rushdie, unlike many other authors who use this tactic, his fuel for controversy is Islam. His second book the Satanic Verses (Rushdie, 1988) sparked major controversy around the world which blew into a full grown fire. There was a call for Mr. Rushdie to be assassinated or he was given a fatwa issued by the Supreme leader of Iran in 1989. As a result of his book several things followed: several countries with large Muslim populations banned the book from their shelves, Iran broke diplomatic relations with the UK, violence erupted in several places, an assassination was attempted on Salman Rushdie in London and finally more fatwas were issued from other hardline Muslims (Slaughter, 1993). So Salman Rushdie wanted to stoke this fire once more possibly for his personal but also his career interests.
His career interests are evident in the piece. The background voice in this editorial piece is: ‘buy my old book Satanic Verses’ ; ‘buy my book ‘Fury’’ (the latter was published one year prior to the attacks and is set in New York (Rushdie, 2001) and ‘buy everything I will ever write’. This is very good advertising in one of the most read papers in New York if not the US. This is also a pretty insane way to make yourself relevant. However as an author, free speech is one of his highest priorities likely even before his life. Salman Rushdie used the New York Times editorial section to shamelessly tell the world and especially Muslims, ‘I am not afraid of you and buy my books.’
Rushdie, Salman. "Yes, this is about Islam." New York Times, 2001.
Rushdie, Salman. "The Satanic Verses. 1988." London: Vintage (1998): 60.
Rushdie, Salman. Fury. Jonathan Cape, 2001.
Slaughter, Marty M. "The Salman Rushdie Affair: Apostasy, Honor, and Freedom of Speech." Virginia law review (1993): 153-204.