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Linguaculture

The Journal of Linguaculture Centre for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

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2285-9403
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Meddling with the Muddling Rushdie Affair

Dana Bădulescu
Published Online: 2013-02-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10318-012-0018-2

Abstract

The “Rushdie affair” is one of the most far-reaching book events of the late 20th century. This study argues that the Muslim demonstrations caused by the book’s allegedly “blasphemous” nature, the fatwa and its aftermath may be regarded as a chain of snowballing effects which brought an entire century of book censorship to an end. However, what started the “affair” was not only The Satanic Verses that stirred waves of protests in the Muslim world and ambiguous attitudes in the West, but also its author, whose life was put in serious jeopardy by the fatwa. After 23 years since “the unfunny Valentine” was sent to Rushdie the “affair’”has not stopped radiating a whole spectrum of problems, which are still part of our global culture. This study traces the “affair” since the 14th of February 1989, when the fatwa was decreed, until January 2012, when Sir Salman Rushdie was initially invited to give a video address to the Jaipur Literature Festival in India only to be announced that the address was cancelled on grounds of violence threats from Muslim activists.

Keywords: fatwa; The Satanic Verses; the “affair”; Islam; the Qur’an; hybridity; freedom of expression; censorship

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About the article

Dana Bădulescu

Dana Bădulescu, postdoctoral researcher, grantee of the Postdoctoral Programme Project “Applied social, human and political sciences. A programme of postdoctoral research training and scholarships in the field of human and political sciences”


Dana Bădulescu, postdoctoral researcher, grantee of the Postdoctoral Programme Project “Applied social, human and political sciences. A programme of postdoctoral research training and scholarships in the field of human and political sciences”


This work was supported by the strategic grant POSDRU/89/1.5/S/62259, Project “Applied social, human and political sciences” co-financed by the European social fund within the Sectorial Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007 - 2013


Published Online: 2013-02-12

Published in Print: 2012-12-01


Citation Information: Linguaculture, ISSN (Online) 2067-9696, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10318-012-0018-2.

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