Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Legacy of The Satanic Verses

"What we are talking about here is not a system of formal censorship, under which the state bans works deemed offensive. Rather, what has developed is a culture of self-censorship in which the giving of offence has come to be seen as morally unacceptable. In the 20 years since the publication of The Satanic Verses the fatwa has effectively become internalised...

"In a plural society it is both inevitable and important that people offend others. Inevitable, because where different beliefs are deeply held, clashes are unavoidable. And we should deal with those clashes in the open rather than suppress them. Important because any kind of social progress requires one to offend some deeply held sensibilities. "If liberty means anything," as George Orwell once put it, "it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." If we want the pleasures of pluralism, we have to put up with the pain of being offended."

Kenan Malik in The Guardian. Bravo.

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2 Comments:

At 1:26 PM, Blogger kam said...

I am writing to let you know that the poet Hayden Carruth died yesterday in Munnsville, NY. He was controversial and probably banned by somebody. He lived down the street and shared his work with us a couple of times at the Oneida Library. He wrote beautiful poetry about nature and angry commentary about life and America. It is kind of fitting that he is mentioned during Banned Books Week.

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Patrick said...

Oh, that's too bad. I just wrote a post about his passing. Thanks for sharing the information with me.

I agree, Banned Books Week is a fitting time to remember him.

 

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