Friday, June 22, 2007

What is blasphemy?

To kill people as they are finishing prayers in a mosque? To goad people to kill themselves and innocent bystanders in the name of God? To murder people because their brand of religion does not suit yours, even if they happen to believe in the same God as you? To terrorize the entire world because of your beliefs? This is not blasphemy?
But to knight a gifted writer who has never killed anyone in the name of anything: this is blasphemy.
For a writer to put his thoughts to paper, (on this side of the world you are supposed to be able to do this simple act without fear of death): this is blasphemy.
The Queen of England is going to pin a little brooch on his chest and we are all going to call him Sir Salman from now on and the poor man has to worry as we have to worry that they're going to come and get us because he wrote a book almost twenty years ago.
This is the difference: he wrote a book. They decapitate people and shoot it in video.
You tell me what's the real blasphemy.
We are not dealing here with the forces of reason. We are dealing with the forces of terror and horror.
This is a battle between civilization and savagery. And civilization must win.

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