Monday, June 25, 2007

BLOOD BROTHERS. Professional fist-shaker Stanley Kurtz usually hates him a bunch of Islamicism, but in a recent Corner post he shows great sympathy toward one Ali A. Mazrui, author of a piece (pdf) that condemns Salman Rushdie and essentially approves (despite mild demurrers) the fatwa against him:
When Britain’s first Muslim peer, Lord Ahmed, recently accused Rushdie of having "blood on his hands, sort of" it seemed a clumsy and ill-thought-out indictment. That it was. But if you want to see the Cadillac version of Ahmed’s accusation, consult the section of Mazrui’s article titled "On Literature and Chaos." There are huge problems with the argument of that section: false moral equivalences, and the notion that books kill people. But...
There's always a "but" with these guys.
...I do think Rushdie’s book feeds directly into the honor complex. In a sense, the Rushdie fatwa is the license for an "honor killing" (a point I made in a different way when I discussed the Rushdie Affair at the end of "Marriage and the Terror War, Part II"). I also found Mazrui’s opening comparisons between Western notions of treason and Rushdi’s "cultural treason" very much on target.
If you read the Mazrui, you will find his argument is, from beginning to end, that of a religious maniac and a thug, and unworthy of engagement by any civilized person. Which I guess lets out Kurtz.

Culture warriors such as Kurtz have clearly decided that, however obliged they feel by duty or loyalty to keep beating the drum for the War on Whatchamacallit, their greater battle is against evil blasphemo-pornographers. Well, hopefully I can get my Second Amendment rights restored before that battle begins in earnest.

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