Monday, June 18, 2007

WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?

British Ignorance or Bravery
Knighting Salman Rushdie sparks anger...Duh!

This past Saturday the British government announced the Knighthood of "The Satanic Verses" author, Salman Rushdie. I'm not sure if they should be congratulated for this courageous decision or bitched slapped, while being yelled at with the words, "what are you thinking?"

The announcement coincided with Queen Elizabeth II 81st birthday. England often announces Knightings in honor of her majesty's big day. However, this year I am picturing the committee gathered in a room with their afternoon tea spiked with Tequila or had LSD added to each cup.

England is currently dealing with a growing militant Muslim population. Home-grown terrorism is increasing at an alarming rate and next month will mark the two year anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, which will incidentally be 7/7/07 this year, a monumental time for another attack. Adding fuel to this enormous fire is the recent decision to make the most hated born Muslim in all of Islam a British Knight.

Right now the Queen of England is being burned in effigy with the British flag all over the Muslim world. The Pakistani Parliament is passing anti-Rushdie and British resolutions. Islamic leaders are calling for diplomatic ties to be broken with Britain and claiming this insult to Islam justifies suicide bombings.

What I can't understand is how the British are shocked over the outrage. "Rushdie is one of the most prominent novelists of the late 20Th century whose 13 books have won numerous awards, including the Booker Prize for "Midnight's Children" in 1981," said Robert Brinkley, Britain's high commissioner to Pakistan. "It is simply untrue to suggest that this in anyway is an insult to Islam or the Prophet Muhammed, and we have enormous respect for Islam as a religion and for its intellectual and cultural achievements."

Schmuck please! Did you expect the Islamic world to say Britain has a right to honor whoever they deem deserving? Did you think Yosuf Islam (Cat Stevens) would play "Peace Train" at the ceremony? After the insane violence that erupted over the Danish cartoons, did you think honoring a man who wrote a book that offended 1.5 billion people would be kept out of the 24 hour news media?

The British rationale for honoring Rushdie is indisputable. He is a literary genius regardless of your opinions of his subject matter. However, during a world war against Islamic extremists, the timing doesn't make your homeland safer, help you win the hearts of peaceful Muslims or curtail the growing Muslim anger within Britain and Europe.

Right now I would be more afraid than ever that the "Peace Train," may be carrying a recently disgruntled Muslim with a back pack loaded with nails and explosives, while his cell contact is waiting in a Starbucks with a cell phone detonator. Hey, but that's just me.

Paulie

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