Q&A 0184 - The Satanic Verses
What are "the Satanic verses"?
In a moment of weakness, Muhammad allowed worship to the three daughters of Allah (Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat). He later retracted these verses, admitting that he’d been deceived by Satan (!). They were found in the Qur'an 53:19. This "missing" passage came into the news in the 1980s when Salman Rushie, and intellectual who wrote a book with this title, became the object of a fatwa (he became the target of an execution order). The following article explores the subject further.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND BLASPHEMY
Used with permission of John Clayton, Does God Exist?
In 1989 the late Ayatollah Khomeini declared it was the duty of every Muslim to kill Salman Rushdie because his novel, The Satanic Verses, was blasphemous. Rushdie has survived by going into hiding, but the book’s Norwegian publisher was shot, its Turkish publisher and 35 of his guests were burned to death at a hotel, its Italian translator was stabbed, and its Japanese translator was assassinated.
In Austria Elisabeth Sabbaditsch-Wolf has been convicted of “denigrating religious beliefs” for her comments about Mohammed during a seminar on radical Islam. In Holland Geert Wilders has been prosecuted for comments about Islam in political speeches as has Jussi Hallaaho in Finland. Random
House made a last minute rejection of a historical novel titled Jewel of
Medina by Sherry Jones because they wanted “to protect the safety of
the author, employees of Random House, booksellers … .”
This is just a small sampling of the cases of repression of free speech. For a
more complete listing, get a copy of Imprimis, Volume 41 Number 2, February 2012 from Hillsdale College, 33 East College Street, Hillsdale, Michigan, 49242; also available at hillsdale.edu/news/imprimus.
While many Muslims would not endorse all of this intimidation, the Muslim community is deafeningly quiet in its response to it, and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation which was formed to respond to it has been dysfunctional.