Salman Rushdie continues to be persecuted and hunted for writing The Satanic Verses, published in 1988. For fear of being killed by assassins and for fear of demonstrations organized by a conservative Islamic seminary, Rushdie did not attend the Mumbai Book Festival. After he did not attend, supporters (Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil, and Ruchir Joshi) briefly read from the The Satanic Verses at the festival (not a planned event but in response to the situation). These authors rapidly left India because they and the festival are now under police investigation because The Satanic Verses are banned in India. India has not had the moral courage to tell the bigots to shut up and be civilized or face swift punishment if they commit crimes.
Once again, bigots seek to kill and silence those who express ideas that they don't like. And they are supported by those who blame the victim of their threats.
I am sick to death of bullies. Citizens of the world must do something against bigots attacking authors and editors. I ask you to read The Satanic Verses and talk about it. Blog about it. Blog your support for Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil, and Ruchir Joshi. Write a letter to the Indian Embassy expressing your outrage with India's censorship of the book and India's failure to ensure Rushdie's safety from harm by appropriately responding to those who threaten him. Write Oprah and ask her to continue to throw her popularity behind anti-censorship (she was feted like a queen at the Mumbai Book Festival) and in favor of those who read aloud from the book at the festival. Write our State Department and ask it to support those who read from The Satanic Verses.
Embassy of India
2107 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington DC 20008
"Oprah's" blog is http://www.oprah.com/blogs/index.html
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