In what will no doubt break his heart, his neo-con hero Mark Steyn has some scathing words about Spittoon’s head:
TUESDAY, 14 APRIL 2009
Much of the discussion on free speech in Lights Out circles back to the Salman Rushdie case – the moment, 20 years ago, when the new Islamic imperialism first pushed against the west’s supposedly robust commitment to intellectual freedom. In those days, Faisal Gazi was one of the chaps shouting “Death to Rushdie!” Now he’s on the payroll of The Guardian (and not their only fatwa alumnus, if memory serves). His column includes this observation from the author of My Beautiful Laundrette et al:
In the last third of the book in, Malik delves into the restrictions of free speech in the post-Rushdie world. As Hanif Qureishi puts it, “Nobody would have the balls today to write The Satanic Verses, let alone publish it. Writing now is timid because writers are terrified”. He is probably right when you consider the Muhammad cartoons scandal and Random House’s decision to retract the publication of Sherry Jones’ novel The Jewel of Medina, based on a message thread on an online discussion forum.
These are just two instances of how the grievance culture of radical Islam is winning the battle against Enlightenment values, helped along, Malik believes, by multicultural policy and laws like the Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006), which has made it an offence to incite hatred against a person on grounds of their religion.
I also think Hanif Quereishi is right The ayatollahs no longer need to issue fatwas against a west so eager to fatwa itself. As you’ll see down toward the end of the column, neither Mr Gazi nor Mr Malik are fans of mine. But, if they’re genuinely interested in defending free speech, as they claim to be, they must surely have noticed how reluctant supposed liberal believers in “Enlightenment values” are to join them. Since the Rushdie affair, the Eng Lit crowd has opted, consciously or otherwise, to embrace its fate. If you wait for the liberal secular progressives to save intellectual freedom, you’ll end your days in darkness.