Was Salman Rushdie really the correct choice for a Knighthood ? What about Bernard Manning ?

Should we let people in other countries dictate what we do in the UK ? Of course not. So in that case, why not give Salman Rushdie a knighthood ?
There is though an alternative point of view. Rightly or wrongly, many Muslims are very upset at the perceived sleight on Islam that Salman Rushdie has perpetrated via his book "The Satanic Verses". I am assured by people who have read it that it is neither blasphemous or unduly nasty about Islam, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that Salman Rushdie is seen by Muslims as an emblem of western disdain for Islam.
Whatever Salman Rushdie's literary talents, which I personally have never found to be outstanding, his name wasn't crying out for a Knighthood. There are other authors who are much more revered and respected who have not been awarded such honours, so it was hardly a question of it looking odd or out of place that Salman Rushdie hadn't got one either. So why was it so important to award him a knighthood now ?
Given the comments from Iran and Pakistan, it seems like we are waving a red rag at a bull. When we talk of doing everything we can to deter terrorists, arguably Rushdie's honour will work as a rallying cry for those who wish to see harm come to Great Britain. Is it really helping the war on terror ? We cannot and we should not be seen to bow to the pressure from Iran and Pakistan over this and he must now keep this honour, but it does raise questions about Rushdie as a person.
It just seems odd that Rushdie, who appears to have become largely free to live his life again after so many years under police protection, would wish to make himself such a big target yet again. The comment from the Pakistani Minister who said, not in so many words, that Rushdie had "everything that was coming to him", might hold some water in some quarters. His words cannot be condoned by any rational person, but you can see where he is coming from.
There will be an outcry from people saying that Rushdie had the right to say what he wants, it is his right to do so and if people take offence rightly or wrongly then it there fault and a few words never hurt anyone. We could equally say the same about Bernard Manning who died today. I didn't see anyone urging a Knighthood for him though.
P.S. I know Dizzy disagrees with my sentiments, but he writes well on the subject HERE. 23:25


David Anthony said...

A difficult one.

Do I think he deserved it? No.

Should we let other countries dictate who we choose to honour? No.

Will it incite anger? Yes.

Did the government know it would? Yes.

Given we have protected him at a huge cost to this country, should Rushdie have politely declined the honour? Probably.

Young Fogey said...

Whilst I have no particular interest in Sir Salman’s novels I am pleased to see him honoured as his knighthood demonstrates that whilst honouring our own we will not be intimidated or influenced by outside political pressures.

It is of course ludicrous to claim that this honour is “an obvious example of fighting against Islam by high-ranking British officials.” Were this true we would not have seen a 2005 knighthood bestowed by The Queen upon Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, described by The Guardian as the “Most Influential Muslim in the UK”.

Rather than criticise the British government, Iran should congratulate Britain for having recently raised a number of British Muslims to the highest ranks of British Society as members of the House of Lords. These include Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, the first Muslim peer; Lord Patel of Blackburn, leader of the British Hajj Delegation; Baroness Falkner of Margravine; and Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green. See my blog for more: http://www.bloggingyoungfogey.blogspot.com

dizzy said...

As I posted in the comment at mine. What you're essentially saying is "don't upset the Muslims" I bet, if Richard Dawkins was knighted, and a tonne of Christians reacted angrily calling for suicide bombings you wouldn't be saying that though it was a red rag to a bull.

BTW, I'm not a Christian before you ask, I just find this selective use of kid gloves around anything that might remotely upset Muslims to be absolutely bizarre irrational and contradictory logic.

"[it] will work as a rallying cry for those who wish to see harm come to Great Britain"

I also think it bizarre the way this is always framed in terms of how it's all our own fault, that we bring it upon ourselves, that our action make them hate us. It's bollocks. The nature of Islam, both in its mildest moderate Sufi forms, and its more politically bent Islamist tangent is quite a non-negotiable thing you know.

Anonymous said...

I ashould think Sir Salmon does,'t rate Iain Dale, that pinguid bufoon, as an author, either.

USpace said...

Good one, of course the very peaceful Muslims are justified for destroying the whole world over this. What, the Queen can't Knight someone she likes? She can't knight someone that other people don't like? But I'm sure Sir Rushdie has mixed emotions on this; the Queen has put him in much greater danger.

This incident will lose the terrorists even more of their dhimmidiot appeasers.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
appease religious killers

continue to spoil them
violent tantrums pay off

Anonymous said...

You are under the misapprehension that the honours are awarded by the Queen. She confers the hnours, but they are government chosen.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed the similarity between Dame Jade Goody and Sir Salmon?

Both have brought a lot of money to media interests, both get death threats, both induce burning protests in ex-colonies, both went to elite universities, both get considerable coverage of what they do in public, both have interesting "partners", both have rudely challenged "sacred cows".

Anonymous said...

"The "I" in Islam ain't not the same as the "I" in Inglish, is it?". Dame Jade Goody

Joe Otten said...

The comparison with Manning is crass in the extreme.

Blaspheming against any religion you don't believe in is what we would all do if we gave a straight answer to the right question. This is not prejudice of any kind, never mind the barefaced shameless prejudice of Manning.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Joe, I don't think so. Your response, in that tone, actually makes my point.

Some people were not and never would be offended by Bernard Manning's joke. Some, obviously like you, would be the complete opposite and cannot abide the thought of a man like him receiving an honour because everything he stands for offends you.

This is exactly how many Muslims feel about Rushdie, so in that sense, this example is correct.

Joe Otten said...

Nich, what do you mean by "in that tone"?

I do think that even the most vitriolic attack on any ideology, good or bad, that you disagree with is not as bad as racism. I am somewhat shocked by the comparison.

Rushdie, as far as I am aware has not been exactly vitriolic - not like some people. His crime is to present a different interpretation of some history.

Whatever happened to the free exchange of ideas?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I wasn't trying to imply you were being rude, but you did use the phrase that my comparison with Manning was "crass in the extreme", which implies a level of annoyance with what I wrote.

This is the "tone" I referred to.

It appears that Bernard Manning got up your nose as much as Rushdie does to some Muslims. It is a matter of taste and personal choice.

I welcome the free exchange of ideas amd no criticism of you was implied.

Joe Otten said...

I wouldn't say that Manning got up my nose - I can hardly remember ever seeing him perform.

Your point seems to be that racism annoys some people, blasphemy annoys others, and so the two are comparable. I dare say liberalism annoys many people too, perhaps that is also comparable?

Frankly, I care little who gets knighthoods, but I do think that Rushdie's right not be a muslim is as important as anybody else's right to be a muslim. The threat to Rushdie is a threat to human rights from genuine opponents to human rights, not simply from people who have been provoked by unpleasant westerners.

Anonymous said...

I dont think he should recieve this honour!
what has he done to receive it? besides offend muslims?
ok millions of people might not have taken this offensivley but millions of muslims did!
so why stir up more hatred and knight someone who has caused so much hatred! am sure theres more people out there who deserved it alot more than he did!

come on government stop the war not stir it up!!!!!