Salman Rushdie's name has become a household word symbolizing the victims of Islamist persecution. Nine years after Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced the edict sentencing Rushdie to death for having written The Satanic Verses, a magical-realist novel, the Indo-British writer still cannot move about in safety. But then, Rushdie is at least alive, writing books, making occasional appearances among the literary jet-set, even acquiring a new girlfriend. That is much more than can be said of many other critics of Islam.
The Rushdie affair is important for highlighting a much larger phenomenon: the prevalence of Islamist terror against freethinkers. The affair itself has apparently acted as a catalyst, for the frequency of attacks on dissidents in the Muslim world has increased considerably from the time of Khomeini's edict. In addition, pressure in the West has also made it difficult for critics of Islam to speak their minds openly.
Tehran has always upheld the Islamic correctness and permanent validity of Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa, even when it has said that it has no intention to send its own hit men to carry out the death sentence. Sayed Husayn Musavian, an Iranian envoy who downplayed the whole controversy in his talks with Western leaders in the hopes of re-normalizing Euro-Iranian relations, said nonetheless: "The fatwa was merely a statement of something that has been part of Islamic law for 1,400 years."1
The Iranian regime refused to revoke Khomeini's fatwa and gave even more credibility to the threat by both executing dissidents within the country and assassinating dozens of Iranians living in exile, such as the musician Fereydun Farokhzad in Bonn2 and the columnist Mustafa Jehan in the Christian sector of Beirut.3 One count, by the exiled former prime minister, Abol Hassan Bani Sadr, has the regime killing thirty-three exiled opponents between 1980 and 1996.4
The death most directly related to Rushdie was the lethal attack on the campus of Tsukuba University in 1991 against Hitoshi Igarashi, a Japanese professor of literature well-connected in pre-revolutionary Iran as well as translator of The Satanic Verses.5 To the indignation of the Japanese public, Japanese Muslims applauded the murder and declared that "even if the murder was not committed by a Muslim, God made sure that Igarashi got what he deserved."6 Knife attacks on two other Rushdie translators, Ettore Capriolo for the Italian edition and William Nygaard for the Norwegian one, seriously wounded them. Nygaard declared at the 1994 Book Fair in Frankfurt that the only correct reply to the terrorists was to stand firm for freedom, and that his way to do this was to translate and publish yet another blasphemer's book, Taslima Nasrin's Shame.7
One prominent Muslim who suffered for The Satanic Verses, notably for protesting against the ban, was Mushir-ul-Hasan, pro-vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, the Muslim university of Delhi. He told an interviewer: "I think the ban should be lifted. I think every person has a right to be heard and to be read."8 In his view, the ban "qualifies as an indefensible move," though he took care to deny any sympathy for the book's contents. Overnight, he became the object of a vicious campaign by most students and some of the professors of Jamia Millia. Though he buckled, apologizing and saying he never meant to demand the lifting of the ban, he had to stay away from his own university. The day he showed up again, he was severely beaten up and had to be hospitalized.
The result of this terror is clear: critics of Islam live in fear or feel constrained to apply self-censorship. A number of books on Islam, even serious and important works, are now published under pseudonym. An apostate Muslim published his well-argued secular-humanist critique of Islam, Why I Am Not a Muslim, under a false name.9 So did the French nationalist author of Islamism and the United States: An Alliance against Europe, which sees a conspiracy in America's pressure on the European Union to admit Turkey and its all-out American support for the Bosnian Muslims.10
In Turkey, Islamist militants killed journalist Çetin Emec (1990), Turan Dursun (1990), exiled Iranian dissident Ali Akbar Gorbani (alias Mansour Amini, 1992), and leading Leftist journalist Uğur Mumcu (1993). These murders were probably committed by the Islamic Action Group; in 1993, the government arrested nineteen members of the group.11 Toktamis Ateş, a left-secular columnist for the daily Cumhuriyet, escaped death when the police discovered a time-bomb fixed underneath the table in an Istanbul bookstore where he was to sign autographs.12
A cultural conference commemorating Pir Sultan Abdal, a poet sometimes called "Turkey's first socialist," took place in July 1993 in the town of Sivas, where he had been hanged in 1590.13 Participants included the author Aziz Nesin, a Marxist who had once declared that "an end should be put to the millennial tyranny of the Qur'an," that Muslims "should not be guided by such an antiquated book,"14 and who had translated The Satanic Verses into Turkish. Most conference participants were Alevis, members of a Shi`i sect widely seen by Sunni Muslims as beyond the pale of Islam. To protest the meeting, a mob destroyed a statue of Abdal and demanded Nesin be handed over for summary execution. Failing this, the crowd stormed the conference hotel, set the building on fire, and prevented firefighters from extinguishing the blaze. As a result, thirty-seven conference participants died.
Although Nesin escaped death, state attorney Nusrat Demiral accused him of behaving "provocatively," and thereby being the prime culprit for the deadly riots.15 Although a quarter million Turks marched against radical Islam ("Turkey will never be Iran") in the mourning procession of Uğur Mumcu,16 with Islamist pressure rising, Turkey's government sometimes bans books critical of Islam. On grounds of insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, it prohibited Ilhan Arsal's Stories about the Shari`a, a volume that tells about the historical basis of Islamic law, questioning whether modern behavior should be based on ancient and sometimes even comical incidents. The author replied that he had merely wanted Turks to know about the Shari`a, and that he simply brought authentic Islamic materials to public attention: "Most quotations have been taken from publications by the Ministry for Religious Affairs."17 Thus did Atatürk's successors prohibit a faithful rendering of Islam's own traditions for insulting Islam.
Egypt has a history of Islam-related violence, one which has affected even the country's most famous writer. Nobel Prize winner Nagib Mahfouz was seriously wounded with a knife wound to his neck in an attempt on his life in October 1994. Muslim liberal Farag Foda, a long-standing critic of the fundamentalists, was murdered in June 1992; his son and other bystanders were seriously wounded. During the trial of several suspects in the Foda murder, expert witnesses defended the execution of apostates and blasphemers:
Those accused of killing Farag Foda were defended in court by Sheikh Ahmad Ghazali, one of Egypt's most senior theologians. He is an official at Al-Azhar [University] and thus a government employee. Mr. Ghazali testified in court that Mr. Foda and secularists' like him are apostates who should be put to death. He added that if the government failed to carry out that ‘duty', individuals were free to do so.18
Islamists have killed Western tourists in many incidents, most notoriously in an assault in Luxor in late 1997. This has the dual purpose of reducing tourism income to the Egyptian government and punishing those who visit Egypt to see the pharaonic "idol temples," thereby reminding Egyptians that their most glorious history was pagan. Bomb attacks against the famous Karnak temple in 1992 gave teeth to calls for demolishing the Sphinx and other antiquities.19
Egyptian courts have tried to steer a middle course between purely Islamic verdicts (death sentence for apostasy) and showing an amiable face to the world. For this reason, ‘Ala' Hamid, a civil servant and author of a Voltairian essay,20 was not sentenced to death but to eight years' imprisonment for blasphemy.21 His publisher, Muhammad Madbuli, a critic of Islam who has dismissed religion as "a fabric of myths," got the same sentence, along with the printer of Hamid's book.22 Hamid hadn't expected this much trouble: "My only crime is that I allowed myself to think."23 Likewise, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, a reformist Muslim professor of literature, was not sentenced to death for apostasy, but found his marriage declared dissolved on the Shar‘i grounds that a Muslim woman may not be married to a non-Muslim man.24 Fortunately for the couple, the University of Leiden in Holland invited both to teach, permitting them to avoid the tumult for a few years.
Even living in the West does not guarantee safety for Egyptian dissidents, however. Unknown assailants shot Makin Morcos, an Egyptian immigrant in Australia, after a radio station broadcast his criticism of Islamic militants for harassing and murdering Coptic Christians in Egypt.25
Censorship has become a joint venture of the Egyptian state and the guardians of orthodoxy. A fundamentalist member of parliament, Jalal Gharib, demanded in 1994 and won an assurance from Culture Minister Faruq Husni that a committee of Islamic scholars from Al-Azhar, the theological academy, would henceforth screen (and possibly reject) ministry books scheduled for publication.26 This agreement merely confirmed a privilege that Al-Azhar had already exercised many times in the past, most notably, by banning Nagib Mahfouz's 1959 novel, Children of Gabalawi,27 which it claimed contained "insulting" references to God and the prophets.28
In 1996, ‘Abdullah Kamal, a journalist with the weekly Ruz al-Yusuf, published a book titled A Psychological Analysis of Prophets. Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid at-Tantawi, the head of Al-Azhar, called the book "blasphemous" on the grounds that "Islamic doctrine does not permit description of the divine messengers in terms which erode their religious position. It is the task of Al-Azhar and other religious institutes to correct such sinful thoughts." The government dutifully imposed a ban on the book and confiscated all unsold copies.29
From freethinking journalists to women in Western dress, many alleged enemies of Islam have been killed in Algeria. The year 1993 alone counted such victims as: Berber writer Tahar Djaout, shot dead as he walked out of the Algiers office of the secularist weekly
Rupture; political scientist Muhammad Boukhobza, his throat cut; sociologist and poet Yusuf Sebti, his throat also cut;30 and political scientist Djillali Lyabès, writer Hafidh Senhadri, and doctor and writer Laadi Flici.31 Newsreader Tayeb Bouterfis was shot dead near his residence in Baraki outside Algiers in October 1994.32 Playwright Abdelkader Alloula was shot in Oran.33 Said Mekbel died on December 4, 1994, from his bullet wounds, the 24th journalist killed by the Islamists since 1992; his final article was found in his computer, describing some of the strategems he used to deceive the terrorists about his whereabouts.34
The Islamist terror campaign extends to Westerners, secular and religious. A bomb killed Bishop Pierre Claverie of Oran in 1996, along with his chauffeur,35 making him the nineteenth Catholic priest killed since 1992. Other victims included Father Charles Deckers, a Belgian pioneer of Muslim-Christian dialogue. Terror by the mysterious Groupe Islamique Armée (GIA) subsequently struck unveiled schoolgirls, working women, and entire villages, as well as targets outside the country.
The above list of victims of the Islamist book-banners and blasphemy-avengers is far from complete. First, in many cases, lighter forms of suppression take place and do not attract international attention. In the United Arab Emirates, eleven Indians were sentenced to six years' imprisonment for staging a play, Shavamtîni Urumbukal (Malayalam: "Ants feasting on a corpse") on May 28, 1992, containing allegedly blasphemous passages.36 The award-winning play, written in 1981-82 by Karthikeyan Padiyath and frequently staged and applauded throughout Kerala, "is a social comedy on the followers of Christ, Prophet Muhammad and Karl Marx."37
In many cases, no judicial prosecution nor physical violence occurs but people are threatened with financial or career consequences for smaller "offenses." For example, a school principal in India was forced to resign because she had allowed pupils to stage a play depicting scenes from the life of a Hindu family.38 In this case, the mere expression of sympathetic interest in heathen neighbors amounts to a deviation that must be punished.
Even more serious cases go unreported. In Saudi Arabia in 1992, young poet Sadiq ‘Abd al-Karim Milalla was beheaded for having declared that Islam is a false religion, the Prophet a charlatan and the Qur'an Muhammad's own creation.39 Likewise, a Christian preacher from the Philippines was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for trying to convert Muslims.40 Media interest in these events was minimal, perhaps because Saudi Arabia is a pivotal Western ally.
Bassam Tibi, Syrian professor based in Germany, has noted the many cases of "critical Muslims in Algeria, Egypt or Turkey who are persecuted or even killed by fundamentalists and about whom world opinion never gets informed. In a fundamentalist environment, being both Muslim and intellectual is a risk, because the Shari`a's big stick tolerates no freedom of opinion."41 Likewise, Rachid Boudjedra of Algeria remarks that the international media reports only selected cases: "When Farag Foda fell, they were briefly persuaded [to report] but even before Foda many intellectuals in Cairo and Alexandria have been killed by fanatics."42
CENSORSHIP IN EUROPE
Liberal Muslims and apostates from Islam may be the main targets of armed Islamists but they are not the only ones; non-Muslims are also sometimes victims. In March 1989, French singer Véronique Sanson performed a song titled Allah in a series of shows in the Paris Olympia hall. The song begins with the story of a Lebanese female suicide-bomber, then implores God:
Allah, why the fire and thunder?
Why do you wage this war? . . .
It is you whom they are using.
It is in your name that they are fighting. . . .
If I were you, I wouldn't be proud.43
After just one performance, Sanson received death threats, so she immediately removed the song from her program. "I am not so much afraid for myself. But I cannot run the risk of endangering the lives of my musicians and of the thousands of people in the audience."44
Mostly, however, the main brake on critical discussion of Islam in the West results not from physical threats but from subtle and not-so-subtle forms of censorship. Westerners who have critical things to say about Islam render themselves unemployable. The French civil servant Jean-Claude Barreau, head of the administration for the integration of immigrants, was sacked in 1991 for publishing a book in which he questioned the "golden legend" of the "great Islamic civilization" which is only believed because "man's capacity for self-deception is enormous."45 He called the spread of Islam "one of the great catastrophes in history," pointing out that agriculture collapsed where peasants converted to Islam, a city-based religion. "The Muslims are not the sons but the fathers of the desert." Strong language, certainly, and critics discovered a number of errors of detail in the book, but Barreau was right to point out that similar criticism of Christianity would never have caused his dismissal. Barreau called himself a victim of the taboo on critical discussion of Islam.46
The proliferating anti-racist legislation offers an important new mechanism to punish critics of Islam, and it has already been used to this effect in such countries as France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. This is ironic, for real racism, i.e. belief in the inequality of races, is now definitely at its lowest ebb in centuries. Still, the highly charged accusation of racism is now used for an ever-widening spectrum of non-racist opinions, from xenophobia (which is indeed on the rise) to legitimate criticism of cultural expressions associated with immigrant groups. A law against true racism is not necessarily a bad thing but the anti-racism laws in European countries include the legal creation of a category of "opinion crimes" that are sometimes used to combat opinions which have nothing to do with racism.
In France, the traditionalist Catholic bishop Marcel Lefebvre was sentenced to pay a fine of 5,000 French francs (about $900) for his "racist" statement, to a non-Muslim audience, that when the Muslim presence becomes even stronger, "it is your wives, your daughters, your children who will be kidnapped and dragged off to a certain kind of places as they exist in Casablanca [Morocco]."47 That a prominent bishop can be brought before a court for evoking the historical fact of European slavery at the hands of Muslim slavers is a sign of a new power equation. In contrast, British Muslim leader Kalim Siddiqui was not prosecuted for blaming European civilization for all the evils of the modern world, nor even for publicly calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie.
And Lefebvre got off lightly, the judge having ruled that he had not "actively incited to discrimination," in which case he would have received a prison sentence plus a fine of 300,000 francs. Fines of this magnitude have recently been imposed twice on actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot for comparing Muslim settlement in France to the Nazi occupation, and for saying: "Tomorrow, the Muslims who cut the throats of innocent sheep to celebrate `Id, may well cut the throat of human beings, as is already being done in Algeria."48
In 1994, the city government of Geneva organized the performance of all of Voltaire's theatre plays to celebrate the famous freethinker's 300th birthday. However, the Muslim community (not Islamists, but state-subsidized cultural foundations) objected to the staging by director Hugues Loichemol of Voltaire's play, first staged in 1742, Mahomet, ou le fanatisme, an attack on religious intolerance based on the Muslim biography of Muhammad in which he orders the murder of his critics.49 The city government withdrew funding for the play and no one dared come forward in response to Loichemol's plea for private sponsorship, so the performance was cancelled.50
Those who speak in their own name sometimes must live underground. This is the case for Steven Emerson, the American journalist researching Islamist networks in the United States,51 and ‘Abd al-Qadir Yasin, a Palestinian writer and ex-assistant of Yasir Arafat, now living in Sweden. Yasin writes:
Rushdie has written what we wanted to say. He has told the world that we exist. He ended our isolation. But at the same time he has isolated us again. He has freed us only to put us in chains again. Now it has become entirely impossible to see anything in the Qur'an except a sacred and unassailable book of God.
Yasin also testified from personal experience how difficult and dangerous it is to speak one's doubts about Islam even with friends, always knowing that "when we declare ourselves separated from the faith, it is the duty of the faithful to put us to justice."52
THE MOHAMED RASOEL CASE
A dark-skinned immigrant was shouted down by the press and sentenced to a heavy fine by white judges, while his white collaborators were acquitted. No, this was not Alabama in 1952 or Pretoria in 1972, but Amsterdam in 1992. The acquitted collaborators were the publisher and translator (from broken English to Dutch) of a controversial book, The Impending Ruin of the Netherlands, Country of Gullible Fools.53 The main defendant was Mohamed Rasoel, a Pakistani immigrant and the book's author. The charge against him? Of all things, racism. The judge decided that Rasoel had made "unjustified generalizations" by contrasting "soft Dutchmen" with "crude, cruel, corrupt and bloodthirsty Muslims."54
Mohamed Rasoel had warned in his book that the Dutch are mistaken to tolerate the establishment of Islamic institutions and the mushrooming growth of their Muslim population. He predicted that this would lead to a civil war and, at best, the country's partition. Significantly, his first warning to this effect was an unsolicited guest column in a Rotterdam daily during the heat of the Rushdie controversy.55 Unwilling to reveal his real identity, he did grant interviews. The Dutch press frantically tried to uncover his real identity; a television talk show host tried to grab his passport and pull off the shawl with which he covered his face; a Muslim politician was ostensibly willing to talk to him, only to pass his teacup onto the police for the fingerprints. Finally the effort succeeded: he turned out to be a Pakistani cabaret artist living in Edam. Many progressive intellectuals reacted to Rasoel in a vicious way. For example, the Hindu-born secularist Anil Ramdas equated Rasoel with Khomeini, saying that he was "revealing himself as an intentional murderer."56
Rasoel felt vindicated by the verdict, even though it left him with a large debt, as well as by the fact that even before the charge of "racism," a number of bookstores had refused to sell the book:57
It proves that the general thrust of my book is correct, that Dutch society is changing and becoming less tolerant. Freedom of opinion is already being sacrificed. I don't blame this state attorney, he is a nice man but rather dumb and naïve like most Dutchmen. . . . Muslims are allowed to shout: kill Rushdie. . . . When Muslims say on TV that all Dutch women are whores, it is allowed. . . . It is ridiculous and scandalous that I have to justify myself in court for discrimination of Muslims.58
WHO ARE THE CENSORS?
Governments. It need not be Muslims who put pressure to prevent criticism of Islam or punish its authors. In a number of instances, Western governments have attempted to thwart, or at least refused to support, criticism of Islam. The British government banned a demonstration in support of Salman Rushdie on the thousandth day of his underground life, fearing that this would endanger the negotiations to release Terry Waite, a British hostage in Lebanon.59 Lufthansa, the German airline, refused to let Rushdie onto one of its flights. A public reading from The Satanic Verses in a Muslim-dominated suburb of Brussels was prohibited; when questioned, the City Council and the Home Ministry held one another responsible for issuing the ban. When the European Parliament invited Taslima Nasrin to come and receive the Sakharov Prize in Strasburg, the French government initially wanted to grant her a visa for a single day, pleading an inability to guarantee her safety.60
Despite the American tradition of tolerating even the most repugnant speech, the State Department in mid-1997 publicly demanded the punishment of an Israeli woman who had distributed a poster depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a pig. And an Israeli judge did its bidding, sentencing her to two years' imprisonment.
Intellectuals. On several occasions, university authorities in Belgium have cancelled permission for lectures and debates expected to be critical of Islam. A Brussels weekly published a cover story titled "Will the Belgium of Our Children Be Islamic?"61 that was filled with sober references to human rights violations against Christians in Turkey and Egypt, plus an excerpt from a speech by a Belgium-based imam: "Soon we will take power in this country. Those who criticize us now, will regret it. They will have to serve us. Prepare, for the hour is near." In response, the Belgian Human Rights League filed a suit on the basis of the anti-racism law—and not against the imam but against the journalist! The palace contacted the editor to protest the issue's cover, which showed King Albert II wearing an Arab head dress. The editor had the posters advertising the issue removed and soon after the editor himself was sacked.62
Pressure is sometimes applied in private. A well-known Belgian psychologist, Herman Somers, published a book, A Different Muhammad, that contains a detailed analysis of the words and acts of the prophet and concludes that his prophethood is a typical case of paranoid delusion nourished with sensorial hallucinations.63 The psychiatrists and specialists on Islam who helped Somers do his research, it bears noting, did so only on condition of strict anonymity. Somers also wrote bestselling studies of Jesus, Biblical prophets, the Jesuit order, and Jehovah's Witnesses, all of which were widely discussed in the media. This time, however, his book met with a deafening silence. Reviewers looked the other way, scholars of religion strictly avoided mention of the book, and even the publisher failed to publicize the book. It sold poorly and quickly became unavailable. Without any law being violated or any ban issued, Somers' thesis was effectively prevented from entering the public discourse. These cases contain not a hint of Islamist threat nor government pressure.
Political authorities at least have the excuse that they have other concerns (financial, diplomatic, security) beside the cause of intellectual freedom. Intellectuals, however, have no such excuses. Nor can they point to personal danger; to the best of my knowledge, there have been no attempts on the lives of Western critics of Islam. Muslims dislike it when a non-Muslim articulates his non-acceptance of Islamic doctrine, but they find this much less shocking than when a born-Muslim does the same thing. After all, a non-Muslim by definition does not believe in Muhammad as God's messenger, so theories about Muhammad being a fraud and the like merely make explicit the skepticism common to nearly all non-Muslims. So, fear of physical violence probably does not account for the silence of Western intellectuals. Rather, it is a matter of careerist calculations. Criticism of Islam is easily associated with a retrograde Christian fanaticism or anti-immigrant xenophobia—and being tagged with such labels is disastrous publicity, whether or not they accurately apply.
Things have reached the point where even a perceived slight to the name "Allah" can lead to violence. A simple Turkish bartender, Oğuz Atak, had the name "Allah" tattooed on his shoulder; in 1997 he was shot dead for defiling God's name.64 Less drastic but similar cases included the protest against a dress with Arabic letters shown by Claudia Schiffer in Paris (the fashion-house withdrew the dress from its collection), and several cases of protest against shoe brands in Bangladesh and elsewhere because they allegedly defiled the name Allah by having it (or any of its many derivatives in personal names, such as `Abdallah) imprinted on something as lowly as a shoe. Even more bizarre was a case in the United States, where threatened by a global Muslim boycott, the sports-apparel firm Nike agreed not only to recall 38,000 pairs of shoes bearing a logo that some Muslims claimed resembled the Arabic spelling of the word "Allah," but also to apologize for the incident, provide "sensitivity training" on Islam for all Nike employees, and donate $50,000 to an Islamic school in the United States.65
Some Arab intellectuals complain that their culture has still not produced a Voltaire.66 But the truth seems rather to be that there are quite a few Arab (and Iranian, Turkish, etc.) Voltaires, only they are working under more difficult circumstances than the French satirist: some of them are in exile, many are being very cautious, and the others have been silenced for good.
Koenraad Elst is a Belgium-based writer on language policy, comparative religion, Indian history, and the Hindu-Muslim conflict.
1 Sunday Times (London), June 3, 1990.
2 Le Figaro (Paris), Aug. 10, 1992. In the 1940s, Khomeini denounced the modernist historian Ahmad Kasravi, who was subsequently assassinated.
3 India Times (Washington, D.C.), Feb. 1, 1992.
4 De Morgen (Brussels), Aug. 24, 1996.
5 De Standaard (Brussels), July 13, 1991.
6 "Radio Trottoir," BRTN Radio-1 (Brussels), Aug. 3, 1991.
7 Gazet van Antwerpen (Antwerp), Oct. 7, 1994.
8 Quoted in Arun Shourie's discussion of the affair: "The Point We Always Evade," Observer of Business and Politics (Delhi), May 18, 1992; included in his book Indian Controversies (Delhi: ASA, 1993), pp. 363-370.
9 Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not a Muslim (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1995).
10 Alexandre del Valle, Islamisme et États-Unis: Une Alliance contre l'Europe (Lausanne: L'Age d'Homme, 1997).
11 De Standaard, Feb. 5, 1993.
12 De Morgen, Sept. 9, 1994.
13 Elsevier (Amsterdam), July 10, 1993.
15 De Morgen, Aug. 12, 1994.
16 Observer of Business and Politics, Jan. 29, 1993.
17 Interview in Cumhuriyet, cited in De Morgen, Aug. 9, 1996.
18 International Herald Tribune (Paris), Feb. 4, 1994.
19 Der Spiegel, 40/1992.
20 The Distance in a Man's Mind (1990).
21 Newsweek, Jan. 27, 1992.
22 Tahar ben Jelloun in De Morgen, Feb. 1, 1992.
23 The Economist (London), Jan. 25, 1992.
24 Gazet van Antwerpen, Aug. 7, 1996.
25 Robert Burns, The Wrath of Allah (Houston: A. Ghosh, 1994), dedication.
26 International Herald Tribune, Feb. 4, 1994.
27 De Morgen, Oct. 18, 1994. Some characters in Mahfouz's The Children of Gabalawi, as in Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, are transparent allusions to the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, which is why an Egyptian imam is quoted commenting: "If only we had behaved in the proper Islamic manner with Naguib Mahfouz, we would not have been assailed by the appearance of Salman Rushdie. Had we killed Naguib Mahfouz, Salman Rushdie would not have appeared." Quoted in Daniel Pipes, The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West (New York: Birch Lane Press, 1990), p. 148.
28 International Herald Tribune, Feb. 4, 1994.
29 De Standaard, July 15, 1996.
30 Reported by Hassouna Moshabi in Die Zeit, Feb. 11, 1994.
31 Newsweek, July 19, 1993.
32 Gazet van Antwerpen, Oct. 17, 1994.
33 De Standaard, Mar. 12, 1994.
34 The article was printed in De Morgen, Dec. 15, 1994.
35 Gazet van Antwerpen, Aug. 3, 1996.
36 Times of India, Oct. 29, 1992.
37 Ibid., Dec. 6, 1994.
38 Ibid., Oct. 29, 1992.
39 Die Zeit (Hamburg), Feb. 11, 1994.
40 The Statesman (Calcutta), Dec. 23, 1992.
41 Bassam Tibi, "Wie Feuer und Wasser," Der Spiegel, September 20, 1994.
42 Rachid Boudjedra speaking to Libération, quoted in De Morgen, July 22, 1992.
43 ‘t Pallieterke (Antwerp), Mar. 23, 1989.
44 Wereldwijd, July 1989.
45 Jean-Claude Barreau, De l'islam en général et de la modernité en particulier (Paris: Le Pré aux Clerics, 1991).
46 Le Figaro, Nov. 13, 1991.
47 De Morgen, July, 14, 1990.
48 Le Figaro, Apr. 26, 1996; Le Monde, Jan. 21, 1998.
49 Voltaire, Mahomet the Prophet, or Fanaticism: A Tragedy in Five Acts, trans. Robert L. Myers, ( New York: Frederick Ungar, 1964).
50 The Economist, July 2, 1994.
51 Emerson revealed his personal plight in "Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years After the World Trade Center Bombing," testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information, Feb. 24, 1998. The same testimony also supplies extensive information on Islamist intimidation of writers and journalists in the United States.
52 ‘Abd al-Qadir Yasin, Göteborgs-Posten (Göteborg), quoted in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Apr. 25, 1992.
53 Mohamed Rasoel, Ondergang van Nederland, Land der Naïeve Dwazen (Amsterdam: Gerard Timmer, 1990). Recalling the many cries of "Death to Salman Rushdie," the author chose a pseudonym that means "Muhammad the Prophet," calculating that Muslims would find it difficult to shout "Death to Muhammad the Prophet."
54 NRC Handelsblad (Rotterdam), Dec. 17, 1992.
55 Ibid., Mar. 6, 1989.
56 "De kleur van Mohamed Rasoel," Groene Amsterdammer, Oct. 17, 1990.
57 NRC Handelsblad, Oct. 19, 1990.
58 Ibid., Feb. 29, 1992.
59 According to Tariq Ali, interviewed in Groene Amsterdammer, Nov. 13, 1991.
60 Gazet van Antwerpen, Oct. 7, 1994.
61 Alain De Kuyssche, "La Belgique de nos enfants sera-t-elle islamique?" Télémoustique, Oct. 7, 1994.
62 De Morgen, Oct. 5, 1994.
63 Herman Somers, Een Andere Muhammad (Antwerp: Hadewijch, 1992).
64 De Standaard, May 7, 1997.
65 The American Reporter, June 24, 1997.
66 De Morgen, July 13, 1991.
Related Topics: Freethinking & Muslim apostasy, Radical Islam | June 1998 MEQ
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