Eminent (street-cred yo’) British (Empire Strikes Back!) Indian (coz brown skin is the new cool, yea) author (Booker of Bookers, and dontcha fuggedaboutit) Salman Rushdie has attacked the “mangled” (brutal, animalistic, grrrrr) language of religion which is turning British Muslims (but remember, there ain’t no such thing as Iranian Muslims or Iraqi Muslims or Syrian Muslims, okay?) towards extremism.
“The language of religion has been horribly mangled in our time, by Christian extremists in America and by Hindu extremists in India but the overwhelming weight of the problem lies in the world of Islam, and much of it has its roots in the ideological language of blood and war emanating from the Salafist movement within Islam, globally backed by Saudi Arabia,” the Booker Prize winner said while accepting the PEN/Pinter prize this week.
(Christians have extremists. Hindus have extremists, Islam – no extremists, JUST TOTALLY EXTREME. Blood, war, Salafi, arrrrr. I mean this quote is so awe-inspiring, I’m gonna just let it sit there in its entirety without comment. Except: Awards, awards, GIMMEMOAR.)
Mumbai-born (Nothing says street cred like being born in Mumbai yo’) Rushdie said he fears that the language of “jihadi-cool” (coz he was a brown Muslim once okay? So he was born knowing what “jihadi-cool” is) is seducing (ooh Islam as a seductress, nothing orientalist there, noooo) young British Muslims (HEY they’re young and British, so being Muslim is okay, okay?), many via Twitter and YouTube, into joining the “decapitating barbarianism” of IS (Always knew Twitter was from Satan. I mean T follows S for A REASON, dontcha see?)
Rushdie defined “jihadi-cool” as “the deformed medievalist language of fanaticism (yeah, “E Pluribus Unum” and “NaMo NaMo”, ain’t medieval fanaticism, whatiswrongwithyou), backed up by modern weaponry”, saying, “It’s hard not to conclude that this hate-filled religious rhetoric (only the Muslim kind loljustchill), pouring from the mouths of ruthless fanatics (OMG BROWN THIRD WORLD PEEPS) into the ears of angry young men (OMG WHITE FIRST WORLD PEEPS), has become the most dangerous new weapon in the world today”.
The New York-based writer (more street-cred yay) was the subject of a fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 (25 years!!! Silver anniversary yo’) for his novel the Satanic Verses and had to spend years in hiding (in First World five-star hotels with top-notch security man, whatcha think, he be like Osama in the caves, lol?)
In his lecture at the event, he added, “What is being killed in Iraq is not just human beings, but a whole culture (imported and Made in USA fuckyeah). To feel aversion towards such a force is not bigotry. It is the only possible response to the horror of events” (Oh dear, I’m so averse to beheadings, such nasty business that makes me want to stop drinking my Earl Grey with my pinky up these days dah-ling).
“If I don’t like your ideas, it must be acceptable for me to say so, just as it is acceptable for you to say that you don’t like mine. Ideas cannot be ring-fenced just because they claim to have this or that fictional sky god on their side,” he said. (No he’s right, the only ideas ring-fenced are those that can claim to have drones on their side)
On a more serious note, most of the appalling ways in which brown Middle Eastern Muslims can be made into a monstrous Other are catalogued so beautifully here, it is hard not to be impressed. Especially when voiced by a Mumbai-born, Muslim-bred, New York-residing British citizen and fatwa victim with Bookers and a PEN award credentialing him.
And just for the record, fatwas are bad, violence is bad, ISIS is bad. But white imperialist language and institutions, also BAD.
NOTE: All of the above comments in parantheses in green are mine, while the rest quote the Outlook article.