Monday, August 29, 2005

Britain - Rushdie Clashes With Galloway

The Guardian reports "Salman Rushdie clashed with George Galloway yesterday in a debate about TV and religion and a hypothetical small-screen adaptation of the novelist's controversial book The Satanic Verses."

Galloway toes the Muslim line that Islam is above being criticized.

"Mr Galloway, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said TV executives had to be "very sensitive about people's religion" and if broadcasters did not show sufficient sensitivity they "had to deal with the consequences".

He said: "You have to be aware if you do [offend people's beliefs] you will get blowback. You should do it very carefully, especially if you are a public service broadcaster."

"Is that a threat?" asked Rushdie during the debate at the Media Guardian Edinburgh international television festival.

Describing Mr Galloway's argument as "craven", the author said: "The simple fact is that any system of ideas that decides you have to ringfence it, that you cannot discuss it in fundamental terms, that you can't say that this bit of it is junk, or that bit is oppressive ... we are supposed to respect that?"

The BBC aren't going to let Rushdie off with that without a little dig of their own.

Rushdie drew laughter from the audience at the special edition of [BBC]Question Time when he said TV rights to the novel were still available. "For the record, there is a French project to make a theatrical adaptation of The Satanic Verses, so maybe that's a start."

Andrew Neil, chairing the session, joked: "I hope it's not near my house."

Not only are we not allowed to criticize Islam but we must handle the Koran with kid golves. Or, as in the case of guards at Gitmo, white gloves. Why? Because, according to Muslims, we, as non-Muslims, are unclean infidels and deemed unworthy to touch the Koran.

The Koran is a book like any other book that was created by man and therefore is subject to the critical investigation that anyone wants to make of it. It's called freedom of speech. But Galloway, in his haste to Muslim appeasment, seems quite willing to have that freedom curtailed.

Rushdie 1 - Galloway 0

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