Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine, Mr. Hitoshi Igarishi!

Today is the seventeenth anniversary of the death threat made by Ruhollah Khoemeini against Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses. What's forgotten is that the contract killing threat was also made against anyone who was ''knowingly'' involved in the publication of the book. A number of people were badly injured by lunatic Islamists because of the book. An Italian, Ettore Capriolo was stabbed, a Norwegian, William Nygaard, was shot. A Turk who translated the book was attacked at a poetry festival and the hotel he was in burned down, killing scores of people who probably had nothing to do with the whole thing. The Japanese translator was killed and his murderer, as far as I know, was never discovered. Hitoshi Igarishi, a professor, was stabbed to death in his office, probably by a Shi'ite immigrant or student. Disgustingly, Japanese Muslims applauded the murder. (There are Japanese Muslims?)

Criticism of Islam is still difficult, and critics still have to live in fear, even in the West. Self-censorship is everywhere. Witness the cowardice of so many mainstream media who will not republish the Danish Muhammad Cartoons. Those who criticize Muhammad or Islam have to publish under assumed names, as Ibn Warraq does. Rushdie is still to this day keeping a relatively low profile, though I think he's no longer under police protection.

Let's remember that Rushdie survived, but many Iranians did not. The mullah regime murdered numerous dissidents overseas, who lived in Western countries. Also, let's not forget the many writers, artists, poets, journalists and so forth who lived under the mullah thug regime, who disappeared into the mullah's prisons and torture chambers, and were never heard from again, or who were found murdered in their houses. In particular, remember Ali Dashti, who wrote a skeptical, honest assessment of Muhammad's career, and died for it in the prisons of the faithful Muslims.

Seventeen years, and the West still doesn't take the threat from the Islamists seriously, and millions of decent Muslims must live in fear in their own countries, and the apologists keep right on telling us not to worry. Happy Valentine's Day, Mr. Igarishi!