Friday, June 22, 2007

Salman Rushdie's Knighthood at an insensitive time!

I have just watched Question time on the BBC, one of the guests was Shirley, now Baroness Williams, former labour party minister and leading light of the SDP and now a Liberal Democrat peer.

On the question of the Knighthood given to Salman Rushdie, she said she thought the timing was insensitive.

All questions aside about whether or not his work merited a knighthood, or indeed whether given the offence supposedly caused (if indeed that should be a consideration) the question surely arises when would be a less insensitive time? Next week rather than last? next year rather than this?

The statement implies that it was appropriate to give the honour, just not now. Well if not now, when?


Anonymous said...

Good one, of course the very peaceful 'Muslims' are justified for destroying the whole world over this. What? The Queen can't Knight someone she likes? She can't knight someone that other people don't like?

But I'm sure Sir Rushdie has mixed emotions on this; the Queen has put him in much greater danger. Maybe he'll wish he had turned it down.

At least this incident will lose the terrorists even more of their dhimmidiot appeasers.

Islam in it's extreme is more political ideology than religion. In that way, it is only a 'Religion of Peace' in that when Islam rules the planet, there will be no one to be at war with. Where they are given an inch, they demand a mile. Islamic countries are becoming more extreme, extremists rule, they just keep quoting the Koran to justify their Jihad.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
appease religious killers

continue to spoil them
violent tantrums pay off

Anonymous said...

Upspace - I agree that the awarding of honours is the business of Great Britain, not the parliament of Pakistan.

You're American. Could you people please just pick up correct usage from our newspapers, please? There is no such thing as "Sir Rushdie". It is not another way of saying "Mr Rushdie". Knighthoods take the Christian name (too bad) of the person who has been awarded it. Therefore, Sir Salman. Or Sir Salman Rushie. Cannot possibly be, ever, Sir Rushdie. Same for ladies who receive the same honour. Shirley Bassey is Dame Shirley. Or Dame Shirley Bassey. There is no such thing as "Dame Bassey".

"But I'm sure Sir Rushdie has mixed emotions on this; the Queen has put him in much greater danger. Maybe he'll wish he had turned it down."

No offence, but this is one of the most stupid paragraphs I have ever read on the internet.

1. If Sir SALMAN, had had "mixed emotions", he would have dropped HM a line saying "No thanks." It's not awarded at the point of a gun.

2. "the Queen has put him in much greater danger". Are you mad? Queen Elizabeth stalks around Buckingham Palace putting people "in danger" by offering them honours?

3. "Maybe he'll wish he had turned it down"???? You think Sir Salman didn't notice the 10 years of threats to his life that were so severe he had to have special service protection?

You think Sir Salman is so stupid he failed to realise that this honour may rub 1bn muslim fanatics the wrong way?

HM Queen Elizabeth offered him a knighthood not because a little light went on over her head, but because the people whose business it is to advise Her Majesty put his name forward.

The Palace communicated with him. He accepted.

Re your following points, you are on firmer ground and I agree with you.

Lord Nazh said...

I'd assume that for her, a good time would be shortly after Rushdie's death.

Anonymous said...

Lord Nazh - for whom?

Uspace, I quite enjoy Americans commenting on our current events, but if you want us to be interested in your opinions, you have to understand the subject you are writing about.

The Palace would have written to Sir Salman with a number to call for his response. When he called, he would have heard a recording:

"Hi! This is Buckingham Palace, denizen of many queens, some of them royalty!

"If you are calling about an honour, please listen carefully to the following options:

"For 'I am humbled and overwhelmed by Your Majesty's graciously wishing to bestow an honour on me and I accept with gratitude' - press one.

"For 'If this was at the suggestion of that slimeball Tony Blair who has illegally invaded Iraq and has got us into a quagmire and no wonder all the muslims hate us and I wouldn't accept an honour suggested by Bush's poodle if it were the last honour on earth. Why doesn't he go to Gitmo and experience it for himself?' - press two.

"For 'I am a lifelong socialist and supporter of the working man, a lifelong republican and do not believe that one human being should be elevated above another and therefore I respectfully decline this so-called honour' - press three."

Benedict White said...

The thing I find strange is that Shirley Williams thinks there could be a better time. I can't think of a worse one, but then I can't see there being a better one anyway.

Either the man deserves it or he does not. Delaying it by a year or two is not going to help.

Anonymous said...

Precisely. And the timing is not relevant.

I'll repeat that. The timing is not relevant. In our own country we bestow, through HM, honours as we choose.

Less civilised peoples should learn to live with this or go back to their countries of origin where they indulge in their barbaric practices semi-legally. I believe even Pakistan doesn't allow slicing off little girls' sexual organs any more. Or that's the official stance. Tribals get a free pass.

Pakistan is a joke country wrought by heavy smoker and heavy drinker Ali Jinnah. For the most part, it got the muslims the hell out of India, but the East and West Pakistan, separated by the entire continent of India, deal was never tethered to reality. What was Jinnah on when he was negotiating this craziness?

I believe the Pakistani Parliament has many, many, many grave issues to deal with in their own failure of a country without turning their attention to the domestic affairs of Britain.

Benedict White said...

Verity, in this case the timing is not relevant but I think we could conceive of questions where a years delay may be a good idea*. As there is no better (or worse) year in prospect the question is does he get it?

Anonymous said...

Benedict - there are so many things wrong with your question! The point is, Britain has decided to honour the former Mr Rushdie with a knighthood.

A years' delay in the islamic scheme of things - given they're still bashing away at their 800s philosophy- is not a relevance. To suggest that islamic ideas are germane to a country that exported law and civilisation to the world is beyond insulting.

Some people and some beliefs are inferior. Otherwise, let us have the opinion of "priests" - as in "imams" - of santerria. Why not? Black candles. "Sacrifices" of chickens as opposed to goats. Explain the difference to me, please.

(Forget the "Ibrahamic tradition",please. They don't believe in the Jewish or Christian Bibles. This is a sleight of hand. Ask them how and they won't be able to answer you.)

Once you are into moral equivalency, Benedict, you have no stance whatsoever. You either have a fierce attachment to your own proven civilisation, or you don't. The West - from Greece and Rome down to our day - is civilised, thoughtful and free-thinking.

Islam cannot co-exit and should be rooted out or confined to its own areas.

Please don't posit that islam just 'different' from us. In islam, a woman who is raped has to come up with four MALE witnesses to the rape (what the hell were those men doing being 'witnesses' instead of beating the rapist's brains out, as normal men would do?) or she is guilty of 'adultery'. This isn't a myth. This is their law and is enforced all over their world.

People born homosexual are strung up by the neck on cranes- including little boys of 14 who don't know what the hell they're about yet.

There is no equivalancy and there can be no compromise. Rushdie has been honoured for his services to literature. I don't agree with lots of honours for 'services to literature' but perhaps there are people who would not want a gong for Darcey Bussell for her services to dance. We believe in debate and tolerance.

This is the civilisation of the West, not the sand flea.

Lord Nazh said...

per the title of this post...

"Lord Nazh - for whom?"

I'd assume Shirley...

Benedict White said...

Verity, The point of the article is that one Shirley Williams would have been happy to gove Rushdie and honour, just not at this time, and I therefore speculate about whether or not there could be a better time? I don't think so. I can't see the middle east truning into sweetness and light in the next one or two years.

I won't coment on the anti Islamic tirade. Ultimatley all religions have nutters, theirs are very dangerous at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Benedict -You have either fallen for the propaganda or you are in denial. (I don't mean this offensively, and you are certainly not alone.)

The entire point of islam - the entire reason for its existence - is conquest. Please read the koran. It is not a more exotic and somewhat more dramatic form of Christianity and/or Judaism. Its purpose is to dominate the world. Allah wants the world to worship him. People who aren't islamic convert, they die or they pay a tax to islam to stay alive - the jizya. That's the choice that's on offer.

All these apologists for islam (the "a tiny minority" meme) know nothing about it. The people who know about it - including many thoughtful and brave muslims - know the score.

They are seeping into the West as a conquest, not looking for fresh business opportunities. Look at how they attempted to take over who could and who could not get a taxi from Minneapolis Airport. Fortunately, the authorities were too quick for them, but this fawcett goes drip, drip, drip, drip in our societies day after day.

Anonymous said...

PS, Benedict, I am surprised that you don't know more about islam, given your early upbringing. Although I think Beirut, especially then, was comparatively secular ...

flashgordonnz said...

The entire point of Christianity - the entire reason for its existence - is conquest. Please read the bible. It is not a more exotic and somewhat more dramatic form of Islam and/or Judaism. Its purpose is to dominate the world. God wants the world to worship him. People who aren't Christian convert, they go to hell when they die or enter purgatory to redeem themselves to gain everlasting life. That's the choice that's on offer.

Anonymous said...

Not going to enter into a religious argument with a lefty.

Lord Nazh said...

flash: all those christian terrorists groups are doing a bang-up job eh?

Anonymous said...

Lord Nahz - I see those Christians used a six year old boy as a suicide bomber on Friday. Oh, no, wait a minute! That was the muslims!

Anonymous said...

Satanic verses

Anonymous said...

Please see this as well...

Anonymous said...

Rushdie is a record setting pompous ass. I see no benefit in poking ignorant people in the eye. All in all, I go along with Lao Tzu: the least effective way to motivate people to improve their behavior is to condemn their conduct.

John LeCarre had it right when he said (regarding Rushdie's "Satanic Verses"): Tolerance does not come at the same time, and in the same form, to all religions and cultures, and Christian society too, until very recently, defined the limits of freedom by what was sacred.

I see no benefit in this sort of glorified grade inflation, the giving to Rushdie an honor which he singularly does not merit.