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Should the British government withdraw Rushdie's knighthood?

Fiona Crack | 12:15 UK time, Thursday, 21 June 2007

The debate over Salman Rushdie's knighthood rumbles on and lots of you have been asking to talk about it.

I believe this important topic and the wider cultural misunderstandings bound up in it are worthy of debate... so please let us have one

Ben Fitzpatrick, Corscombe, Dorset, United Kingdom

I find it incredible that the so called leaders of the Muslin world have missed the irony of it all. The Ayatollah Khomenei,who issued the death warrant for Mr. Rushdie, passed away long ago.On the other hand, Mr. Rushdie, is alive and well, though in hiding. Many years ago, I asked my Spiritual Master," Who is responsible for all the chaos in this world" The Master replied " Two classes of people whose policy is divide and rule - one are the politicians and the other, preachers."

Kuldip Singh, Patiala, India

I share the view of Conservative MP Stewart Jackson who said “If the senior officers of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were not able to use their knowledge of the Islamic world to consider the likely ramifications of this decision, then I'm extremely concerned.”John Reid bravely advocates the right to free speech in a democracy. However he ignores the simple matter of common sense. It is also called using your head. Sure, in a free country you are allowed to say anything you like. But in speaking to an individual who is say, holding a gun at your head and threatening to blow it off, of course you are free to insult him in any way you choose, but plain ordinary common or garden variety sense should restrain your impulse to crude verbosity and it in fact may save your life. To put it another way, here is a epitaph (perhaps apocryphal) which promotes defensive driving. “Here lies the body of Johnathan Gray. Who died defending his right of way. He was right, quite right, as he sped along, But now he is as dead, as if he were wrong.

David William ffynch, Victoria, BC Canada

Iran has accused British officials of "anti-Islamism" and Pakistan's parliament called for the award to be withdrawn. But Britain has stood by its decision to honour the author whose book, The Satanic Verses, was seen as so offensive to Muslims that he was forced into hiding, under threat of death. There have also been rumours that that some Muslim British businesses are trying to organised a nationwide shurtdown in protest.

In the interests of calm and good relations should Britain withdraw the knighthood? Or Should Salman Rushie refuse the honour? Or should Britain and Salman Rushdie stand by their decisions to award, and accept, the honour.


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