Monday, August 15, 2022

Afterthoughts On Salman Rushdie Episode

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 15 August 2022 Perceptive Readers Might Be Aware That The Pork-Eating, Non-Ritualistic Rushdie Didn't Relinquish Islam And God Until He Wrote The Satanic Verses ---- " Isn't it strange that for our religious symbols, totems and books, we kill those who never hurt us personally." These words of the French historian and orientalist Maxime Rodinson struck me like a blitzkrieg the moment I heard Rushdie was stabbed by a 24-yr-old young man who wasn't even born when The Satanic Verses hit the stands in 1988. This young zealot never met Rushdie and there was nothing personal, let alone enmity, between the two individuals. Yet, Hadi Matar thought of stabbing the great writer for disparaging his and scores of Muslims' fragile beliefs. Novelist Salman Rushdie ---- Once again the question, 'How can religious beliefs be so overwhelming as to instigate a fanatic to kill or hurt someone who never hurt him' is on the minds of all sane people in the world. This also engenders a corollary as to why more and more people are leaving religions and gods and calling themselves atheists. Mind you, it's not their schoolboy atheism or fashionable non-belief. It's a thoughtful and conscious decision, NOT taken in a state of anger or hurry. Seeing the zealotry and absolute insanity of the followers of all faiths and the extreme improbability of a Supreme Being, people, who can use their brains and think independently, are leaving faiths and gods to live peacefully. Perceptive readers might be aware that the pork-eating, non-ritualistic Rushdie didn't relinquish Islam and god until he wrote The Satanic Verses, which's actually a boring book and never intended to ridicule Islam. He was just an indifferent ' Muslim.' But when this book assumed perceived blasphemous dimensions and Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa to kill him, he left Islam because he got disillusioned with the whole religious charade. Otherwise, if you remember, he even apologized and went on to call himself a ' born-again Muslim, ' though he later wrote that his conversion to Islam was his biggest mistake. The madness of Muslims all over the world alienated Rushdie from Islam, Allah and all man-made faiths and their fabricated gods. His 'educated' Muslim friends turned enemies just because they thought that Salman insulted Muhammad and Quran. Religious people hurt others more than irreligious people do. I was born a south-paw. I'm now an ambidexter. Once in Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia) while eating with my left hand at a Muslim professor's place, I was nudged by the professor to use my right hand while eating as Muslims, esp. in Malaysia, consider it unIslamic if someone uses his/her left hand while eating. Otherwise also, Islam looks down upon those who use their left hand as they believe Iblees (Satan) is a south-paw. I'm still friends with that Malaysian Muslim, now in London, but I didn't forget that insult. A meaningless religious belief embittered our relationship. The same thing happened in India, when an 'educated' Hindu lady offered Prasad to me, I naturally extended my left hand. She didn't give me Prasad and still doesn't speak to me. Not to hurt foolishly religiously people of all faiths, I began to use my right hand though Muslim zealots cut the tip of my middle finger. Alas, they were never my enemies. It's your religious belief that makes you perceive the other person as your enemy. To all religious people, their so-called enemies and adversaries are actually perceived and presupposed foes. On this forum, one gentleman is pretty miffed with me. I'm a pariah to him because I criticize his faith, though personally we've never met. It's because of his inveterate religious beliefs that make him denigrate me. I don't mind, because I know that he's governed by Islam, Quran, Muhammad, Hadees and Sunnah. He's not to be blamed. His faith must be blamed. He's blinded by Islam and the obscure verses of Quan. This reminds me of Salman Rushdie's famous quote, " Something was badly amiss with the spiritual life of the planet......Too many demons inside people claiming to believe in god." Think over it and introspect. It's time for all the believers to reassess the patterns, peculiarities and potholes of their beliefs. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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