Just Like What Happened with "The Satanic Verses"

Edited by Kathleen Weinberger

The attack upon the American embassy in Benghazi and the murder of the American ambassador there was not only foolish, but also furthers a conspiracy to incite sectarian violence throughout the Middle East. The terrorists who reacted to the “film,” whose director and producers intended to insult the Prophet of God, may peace be upon him, did not know that their disgraceful, rejected and condemned action would push many curious people to research this evil “film,” even treating it as though it were a piece of art. Before the attack on the embassy, only a few people outside of the very group that produced the film had heard of it. It had not been shown in a single movie theater and its visibility was limited to a few websites.

This is exactly what happened with that claptrap of a novel “The Satanic Verses,” another work that was initially ignored. Its Indian author, Salman Rushdie, was unknown — just a scribbler compared to the great writers and novelists of the day. It was after the famous — although now somewhat passé — fatwa was released by Imam Khomenei, may God have mercy on him, that this novel became a “best seller.” Rushdie himself, who hid from the public eye for many years after this fatwa, became an international celebrity because of the violent reactions against his work.

There is a known proverb that says: “a smart enemy is better than an ignorant friend.” However, this proverb does not describe the offenders who carried out this accursed act; if only they could be taken into custody and subjected to interrogations that fit their crime. The protests were incited by groups that wanted to exploit the release of this regrettable “film” to incite sectarian conflict in Egypt, a country that is passing through a transition from the previous negative era to a new, more promising one; the violent actions of these criminals play into the hands of this agenda.

The criminals who killed the American ambassador and three members of staff in the embassy in Benghazi have insulted the Prophet of Islam, blessings of God upon him, more profoundly than the makers of this appalling “film,” if for no other reason than that their bloody, terroristic act incited the curiosity of Americans and many others besides, even among Muslims in the Arab world, to research and learn about this debased piece of art. Without the least doubt, the motivation behind this attack in such a dangerous region is a conspiracy to light the fire of sectarian division — both in Egypt and in other Arab countries — between Muslims and their Christian brothers, who are partners in their shared national destiny and bound by ties of blood, kinship and culture.

Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on him, released that fatwa against Rushdie’s work in order to bolster the commitment and fire the zeal of the Iranian people and to cement his religious authority at the time that the Iran-Iraq War was at the height of its destruction. Had these other factors not been in play, Salman Rushdie would have remained unknown and his novel “The Satanic Verses” would be gathering mold on a few bookshelves. The same applies to the displeasing “film,” which is being exploited by the vile conspiracy of a few murderous criminals who have pulled this film from the forgotten corners of the Internet and placed it, in the wake of a despicable act, on every tongue in the entire world.

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