Official Blog of the Bishop of Durham

Sir Salman Rushdie on Adapting to Muslim Sensitivities

Posted by NT Wrong on June 28, 2008

I have always enjoyed Salman Rushdie’s books. My personal favourite, for quirky reasons — it appealed to me in many ways — is “The Moor’s Last Sigh”. I got it at a book-signing at which the author signed books and didn’t appear (he was hiding from certain Muslim nutjobs).

“When people ask me how the West should adapt to Muslim sensitivities, I always say — the question is the wrong way round. The West should go on being itself. There is nothing wrong with the things that for hundreds of years have been acceptable — satire, irreverence, ridicule, even quite rude commentary — why the hell not?”
Sir Salman Rushdie

4 Responses to “Sir Salman Rushdie on Adapting to Muslim Sensitivities”

  1. A lot of Muslims aren’t going to like the West until the West ceases to be Western. Would you date someone who insisted you must radically change yourself for them?

  2. ntwrong said

    No, my partner wouldn’t let me date somebody else.

    I am increasingly thinking that true respect for an other involves thinking they are ‘big enough’ to take some criticism. It also involves thinking they are *wrong*, not just “different”. If I don’t bother to think they are wrong, and don’t wish to be like them, I don’t really respect their otherness. Anything less, any form of ‘toleration’, always already requires thinking that one is superior.

    Or … if you said you’d “tolerate me”, Chuck, I’d punch you on the nose.

  3. Well, now that you mention it, Bishop….

  4. ntwrong said

    That’s just *wrong*.

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