Salman Rushdie has been given a knighthood, causing much offence and effigy burining in Pakistan. Now the diplomatic row has intensified, with British ambassadors in Tehran and Islamabad receiving offical complaints. I am confident that the British Establishment won’t back down on this issue, and that Sir Salman will recieve his daubing from the Queen sometime soon. Proof that we are not sacrificing our values to an intolerant minority.
It seems to be fashionable to complain about what a smug bore Rushdie is. I can’t speak for the man himself, but I’ve always enjoyed reading his iconoclastic prose, his unreliable narrators. Midnight’s Children is very rewarding, as is Shame and even Grimus. I never really related to the satire in The Satanic Verses, although I might do now I appreciate just how stratospheric Bollywood actors can be.
However, I was not impressed when he turned out to be one of the few authors on OpenDemocracy.net who refused to let his work be licenced under the Creative Commons agreement. He did apologise though: “Sorry to be old-fashioned,” he said.