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Saturday, January 14, 2006


Likes: beard-measuring competitions, being a fundamentalist
Dislikes: Salman Rushdie

Declan Kiberd (in his new book The Irish Writer and the World): nationalism and religion may be ideologies but secularism is an ideology too. Also, one of Salman Rushdie's Irish defenders has been a member of the Arts Council, so drop the 'fellow persecuted artist stuff', please. And: Irish people might be expected to sympathize with the anti-Rushdie case because they know all about high-handed Enlightenment values (i.e. the Brits).

Still Declan Kiberd: why can't Rushdie try to understand how annoyed these guys are? What's his problem?

Still Declan Kiberd: because in his secularist way Rushdie is 'just as much a fundamentalist as the Ayatollah'

To recap
'Rushdie must die': fundamentalist

Rushdie says what he wants about his religion: also fundamentalist

Irish academic draws an equivalence between a novelist and someone who wants to kill him. I get annoyed about it. Do I a) burn his book and pass a death sentence on him? b) say how I annoyed I am with him here and leave it at that? For all the difference it makes, since I'm obviously a fundamentalist anyway. We're all fundamentalists now.

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