While a new movie version of the controversial bestseller “Midnight’s Children” is scaring movie distributors in India, Salman Rushdie warns free speech is under threat. “Religious extremists of all stripes” are putting free speech at risk.
Salman Rushdie is by far the most controversial author today. The 65-year-old remains a subject that still sparks anger in the Islamic world. A new movie version of his bestseller and award-winning book “Midnight’s Children” has been scaring away movie distributors in India worried the recent Muslim protests would become even more violent.
In a new interview, Salman Rushdie talked about the recent violent outbreak in the Muslim world over a Muhammad movie produced in the United States. “I think clearly the video was a flashpoint” the 65-year-old author told Matt Lauer on “Today”. “From what I can see it was an outrageous, disgraceful little malevolent thing, but by now I think that the reaction we’re seeing is really the release of a much larger outrage” he added.
Salman Rushdie went on to say the author of the Muhammad film that sparked so much anger in the Islamic world was “clearly set out to provoke, and he’s obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction that he hoped for”. “One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting” the author added.
It was during an interview for BBC that Salman Rushdie added free speech is put under threat by “religious extremists of all stripes” and that “people need to be protected from abuse and vilification and that includes me by the way”.
Salman Rushdie recently released a new book of his life under the fatwa. Even at the moment, there is a $3.3 million bounty on Salman Rushdie’s head that is promised by Hassain Sanei since Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses”. He said: “Surely if the sentence of the Imam had been carried out, the later insults in the form of caricatures, articles and the making of movies would not have occurred”.
“One of the reasons why in the book [Joseph Anton ] I use this metaphor of the Hitchcock movie ‘The Birds’ is to say that really what happened to me was the first bird, and now we’re in the middle of the storm” Salman Rushdie confessed.