According to this BBC report, a dozen writers including Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born British writer who still lives under a fatwa ordering his execution for writing The Satanic Verses, have issued a statement warning against radical Islam’s assault on free speech and freedom of the press. It says, in part, that the writers refuse to accept that Muslim men and women “should be deprived of their rights to equality, liberty or secularity in the name of respect for culture or tradition.”
Most importantly, they discern a critical issue that few have before: Radical Islam is an ideology, not a religion: “Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present.”
In addition to Rusdie, the group includes: Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Somali-born Dutch MP; Taslima Nasreen – exiled Bangladeshi writer, with fatwa issued ordering her execution; Bernard-Henri Levy – French philosopher; Chahla Chafiq – Iranian writer exiled in France; Caroline Fourest – French writer; Irshad Manji – Ugandan refugee and writer living in Canada; Mehdi Mozaffari – Iranian academic exiled in Denmark; Maryam Namazie – Iranian writer living in Britain; Antoine Sfeir – director of French review examining Middle East; Ibn Warraq – US academic of Indian/Pakistani origin; Philippe Val – director of Charlie Hebdo (French magazine that republished the cartoons.) Courageous people, one and all.