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Friday, June 22, 2007

Make mine a Smoked Salman Cheesecake

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It had to happen sooner or later. No, not the award that Salman Rushdie just got from the British government. Walski is talking about PAS rallying in front of the British High Commission (hat-tip: The Malaysian). It certainly isn't difficult to piss Muslims off these days, huh? Lina Joy, Sharifah Amani, and now this...

Image from Channel NewsAsia, hosting by PhotobucketAmong other things, PAS demanded that the British Government withdraws the award with immediate effect. Or else, suffer the consequences.

Yeah, right...

Of course, the action by PAS follows other protests, primarily from Pakistan and Iran, over the award given to author Salman Rushdie (whom, if he had been born in Hong Kong, may just have had the misfortune of being named Salman Rush Rush Die), which gives Rushdie the right to suffix his forename with the title "Sir".

There are those, of course, who view this - the award to Rushdie - as more evidence of the evil West conspiring against Islam.

"This honorary award given by the British Government to Salman "The Devil" Rushdie is indeed a confirmation that Rushdie’s work in insulting Islam is not just his personal contempt against Islam but an effort supported by certain governments in the West."

So much so that Walski could almost imagine this conversation having taken place:

Queen Elizabeth II: My, my... the world seems just too much at peace these days... **sigh**...
Queen's Advisor: Your Majesty... I have a cunning plan...
QE II: What is it, Baldrick?
QA Baldrick: Let's give Salman Rushdie the Knight Bachelor... that'll rattle them Moslems for sure...
QE II: What an excellent idea! It'll be Danish Cartoons all over again... make it so, Baldrick!

Somehow, though, Walski thinks not... the Queen probably has a lot of more important things to worry about. Like having a horse for a daughter-in-law.
(more horsing around with controversy, in the full post)


In neighbouring Iran a non-governmental organisation, the Committee of Glorification of the Martyrs of the Islamic Movement, said it was increasing its reward for killing Rushdie to 150,000 dollars from 100,000 dollars.
(source: Channel NewsAsia)

Image from Channel NewsAsia, hosting by PhotobucketWalski really does wonder if any of those whom are so terribly riled have even read "The Satanic Verses"... or is it a case of just being pissed off because it's inherrently in their nature to be perpetually angry at the world? Or is it actually fun to be homicidally angry all the time?

Regardless, it's not like "The Satanic Verses" is the only book Salman Rushdie's ever written - he has, among others, nine works of fiction to his credit. In fact, his most acclaimed work is "Midnight's Children", which won him the pretigious Booker Award in 1981 (and Booker of Bookers in 1993).

But the riled-up Muslims seem to only focus on this one controversial book. Anyone who's actually bothered reading it (which admittedly is difficult these days in Malaysia) would know that the controversial bits surround one of the dream sequences, inspired, most likely, by a narration of the Prophet Muhammad's life, which according to Wikipedia, can be read in the reviews of historian Ibn Ishaq's works by scholars such as al-Tabari and al-Waqidi. In fact, the term "Satanic Verses" wasn't even coined by Salman Rushdie.

Anyone who believes that the Quran has God's protection against corruption would, of course, immediately refute that any of the narrated stories could possibly be true. And, as far as Walski knows, no one called for the execution for either one of these people in their time, or made sure that their descendents were hunted down like criminals. Progress, huh?

Of course, Rushdie took it to a new level of provocativeness and vulgarity, which is probably what pissed off many Muslims in the first place, accusing him of insulting the Prophet, his wives, and Islam in general.

But really - "The Satanic Verses" is as much about Islam, as the film "My Left Foot" is about pediatrics (or for that matter, podiatry), or "The Matrix" about math.

Regardless, the anger exhibited thus far is real. And how, pray tell, is this anger going to restore Islam to its desired ancient glory? Assuming that Britain withdraws the award (which we now know won't ever happen), will the Islamic world, overnight become a more glorious place?

Again, Walski thinks.. not.

The withdrawal may placate the angry Muslims, for a while, until the next thing comes along that pisses them off. Which could literally be anything that even resembles being insulting to their sensitivities pertaining to the Prophet Muhammad, or Islam, in general.

Who knows... with this anger du jour being targetted at Rushdie, Walski wouldn't be the least bit surprised if somebody somewhere gets the crap kicked out of them for ordering a slice of Smoked Salmon Cheesecake - just because it sounds a bit like "Salman".

For the time being, Walski thinks he'll stick to tuna. It's much safer...

Walski's culinary-aside footnote: Believe it or not, there actually is such a thing as Smoked Salmon Cheesecake. Walski's never tried it, but the recipe looks yummy...