Archive | February 2014

A Satanic Anniversary

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THE DEFENDANT: The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie. 25 years ago today all hell broke loose over this book. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (holy decree) stating that God wanted anyone associated with publishing this book assassinated.

THE VERDICT: No less than 58 dead, 242 wounded, banned in 21 countries, 6 bombings, and millions of people all over the world told to murder for their faith. Mass book-burnings were held, many major book retailers took it off the shelves, and many stores that did agree to sell it kept it behind the counter. The United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations over the affair. Rushdie had to live in hiding for nearly a decade.

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Like Sci-Fi? Good, Help Destroy It.

While censoring the books that have been written is far more noticeable, there is another way stories are silenced: they are never published or never written at all. This is not always so overt as not letting the peasants learn to read or steering clear of more controversial and political manuscripts or not publishing the works of women unless done so anonymously or under a pseudonym (though even today many female writers do use a so-called moustache de plume either of their own volition or at the advice/request of others). Read More…