Friday, May 1, 2009

on rushdie

i finished reading those Rushdie essays yesterday. glad i read them. know a little more about him, his thoughts/views and his book [The Satanic Verses]. he changed my mind on a few points:
  1. the reaction to his book was barbaric and embarrasing. muslims could/should have gone about it differently.
  2. we need to have the faith, courage and insight to question. to critique. to judge. to change. not our faith. but ourselves. we need to not be so rigid/inflexible/intolerant.
  3. people should be free to speak their mind. express themselves. the extent to which this goes (if there is a limit to that extent at all) i will not go into here b/c, candidly, i don't know.
...the problem is that Rushdie can be blamed for doing precisely what he accuses people of doing. e.g. interpreting the Qur'an literally. and failing to understand/respect that having faith can be a dynamic/critical/brave/empowering process. i believe – at least by emphasizing that lack of faith is all of this – he takes that for granted.

finally, with regard to #2 above... i don't think Rushdie is at all capable of taking a bold lead on this. he has neither the insight/understanding nor the credibility/mandate to critique/question effectively or acceptably.

moving on... i'm now reading Two Ears of Corn [download book in PDF]. more on that later.

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