Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Iconoclast

Salman Rushdie interviewed by Shikha Dalmia from Reason Online

Reason: You wrote an essay criticizing President Bush and other Western leaders for claiming after 9/11 that "this is not about Islam." In what way is this about Islam?

Rushdie: Well, you know, that was said for good reasons. It was said to minimize the backlash against Muslims. But just in terms of actual fact, it is absurd. It is not about football. The fact that it is about a particular idea of Islam that many Muslims would reject does not mean it is not about Islam. The Christian Coalition is still about Christianity, even if it's an idea of Christianity that many Christians might not go along with.

Reason: What they mean is that it is not about Islam properly understood. That it is about certain extreme followers of Islam who might not be interpreting the religion correctly.

Rushdie: Yes, but Wahhabi Islam is becoming very powerful these days. To say that it is not about Islam is to not take the world as it really is.

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