In a move which surprised many those laid-back lovers of multiple viewpoints and open debate that are the wacky guys in the Iranian government/religious police (hard to tell them apart) have been deeply offended by something. This time not newspaper cartoons from neighbouring Saudi, not the film and comic of 300 (and before that Alexander) or the film and comic of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis or… okay you get the point, they are a bunch of whining twonks who declare everything they dislike is deeply offensive to their nation and obviously the Prophet, blessings be upon his name and all of Islam (which naturally they feel entitled to talk on behalf of all). What are the daft smeggers upset about now?
Well Salman Rushdie was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours list (sadly there was no such honour for me), which the Iranians claim is a deliberate attempt to insult them and Islam because Rushdie wrote the Satanic Verses several years ago. You may remember good ol’e Krazy Khomeini, that laugh-a-minute mullah with a twinkle in his eye and a song in his heart declaring a fatwah against it and offering a huge reward to any of the Faithful who murdered one of the most respected novelists in the world for insulting Islam in a work of fiction which he hadn’t actually read.
Oddly they don’t mention how insulting it is to all civilised people to burn books and threaten the life of writers you haven’t even bothered to read; as a devout follower of the church of freedom of speech and a disciple of the Tower of Books I find their attitude highly insulting to my beliefs and I declare literary jihad on their infidel arses. Of course, our form of literary fundementalism is more civilised – we don’t place death sentences on their heads, we want to capture them, tie them to a chair and force them to read books. That will teach the bastards.