Rushdie: Haunted By His Unholy Ghosts Book

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Rushdie: Haunted By His Unholy Ghosts Details

When Salman Rushdie published The Satanic Verses in 1988 it unleashed an unprecedented controversy throughout the world. While Muslim countries around the globe unanimously condemned the publication for its attempt to assassinate the character of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Western nations went to the other extreme, defending the publication to the hilt, presenting 'freedom of speech' as the licence to print inflammatory material without any regard for boundaries or responsibilities. Adding insult to injury, the book was heralded as a work of literature and was even nominated for the prestigious Booker Prize, and the author turned into some sort of hero. Rushdie: Haunted by His Unholy Ghosts charts a course that lies between these two contrasting attitudes. It rejects some of the extremism expressed by the East but also condemns the attitude of the West. It also highlights the true teachings regarding blasphemy in Islam and proves that the edict of the Fatwa was an illegal act. The book explores the role played by the western orientalists who have been instrumental in increasing the rift between Islam and the West. It traces the animosity against Islam ever since its inception, through the barbarity of the Crusades right up to the present day. It also examines the legacy that the book has created in perpetuating a trail of similar provocative acts perpetrated in the West such as the Danish cartoons and the increasing militancy of some Muslims culminating in the acts of 9/11 and 7/7. The issue of freedom of speech has been discussed at great length which is the topic of the day. It proves how unchecked freedom can become a curse. The literary career of Salman Rushdie has been examined in great detail and this book attempts to prove that his role in the whole sordid affair was not as innocent as it is made out to be. In fact, he is shown to possess truly Mephistophelian characteristics. There is, however, a positive message for the future. Enlightened people in the West, Prince Charles among them, still offer a great opportunity of hope by presenting the real image of Islam and so contribute to narrowing the gulf between Islam and the West.
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