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Rushdie Rushdie Presentation Transcript

  • Salman Rushdie 1947-
  • Who is…
    • Salman Rushdie identifies as British Indian and was raised Muslim.
    • He is a citizen of the UK with Indian ancestry.
    • Remember, the British empire ruled over India until 1947!
  • Who is…
    • Salman Rushdie is a father and husband.
  • Who is…?
    • S
    Salman Rushdie is a famous Author. He has written over 15 novels, and numerous essays.
  • Who is…?
    • Rushdie won The Man Booker Prize in 1981 for his novel Midnight’s Children.
    • The Booker Prize is a prestigious award given in England, like the American Pulitzer or National Book Award.
  • Rushdie’s Work
    • Magical Realism: a genre where magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in otherwise realistic or “normal” settings.
    • His work often deals with the confusion and misunderstandings between 2 cultures, especially the east vs. the west.
    • Rushdie’s love of English is apparent in his wordplay and his fantastic, imaginative use of language.
  • Who is…?
    • Unfortunately, one of the things he is most well known for is the FATWA placed on him in 1989.
  • What is a FATWA?
    • According to Princeton University, a fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law that is given by a recognized authority.
    • Thousands of fatwas have been issued to help guide followers of Islam on religious or spiritual matters.
    • Fatwas must be issued by a scholar of Islamic Law. The person that issues the fatwa is called a Mufti.
  • Hold on….what does that have to do with Salman Rushdie?
    • The Satanic Verses was a novel published by Rushdie in 1988.
    • The book is controversial for its depiction of Muhammad and some verses in the Koran.
  • More about The Satanic Verses
    • The novel was BANNED in India 9 days after it was published.
    • The book was BURNED at organized demonstrations in India, UK, and Muslim countries.
    • The book was so controversial and offensive to Muslims that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for his execution in a Fatwa.
  • What did that mean?
    • Writer Christopher Hitchens, a friend of Rushdie’s explains: “two decades ago the theocratic head of a foreign state offered a large sum of money, in his own name, in public, to suborn the murder of a writer of fiction who was not himself an Iranian. In the event that some would-be assassin died in the attempt and failed to pick up the dough, an immediate passage to paradise was assured.”
  • The Outcome
    • Rushdie himself went into hiding for a decade, heavily protected by UK special forces.
    • The fatwa covered anyone who helped bring the novel to publication: his publisher was attacked, translators were murdered, bookstores carrying the book were firebombed.
  • Haroun & the Sea of Stories
    • Published in 1990, it was the first book published after the Fatwa.
    • Rushdie dedicated the book to his son.
    • The novel is about a famous storyteller who all of a sudden loses his ability to weave and tell tales.
    • The son of the storyteller makes a fantastic, adventurous journey to save his father and to save stories.
  • What about now?
    • The Fatwa is still in effect and can never be lifted since Khomeini died.
    • Rushdie now lives openly in the US and still publishes books.
    • He was made a Knight by the Queen of England in 2007.
  • Long Lasting Effects
    • Many believe that the Satanic Verses affair has damaged the idea of Freedom of Speech.
    • Publishers of any kind of written material (even PlayStation games!) will not release them if there is any chance of “offending” Muslims.
    • Other artists have been targeted or killed (including a Danish political cartoonist).
  • The Big Question
    • What is your right to Freedom of Speech worth to YOU?