the rusdhie affair,de-constructed, a tweet at a time

the best piece i’ve read so far on the rushdie affair. especially glad to see someone point out that claiming to a champion of liberal values is not enough. what matters is also how you fight for them, and the paradox is that in the process you could actually end up undermining those same values. even the fervent defence of liberal values can be fundamentalistic, a liberal ‘you’re either with us or against us’

Rohit Chopra writes,

 Rushdie’s pals, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, and Hitchens—the “liberal supremacists” as Terry Eagelton calls the breed— have made the vilest remarks about Muslims, and yet they are touted as great defenders of liberal values. In contrast, anyone who disagrees—even civilly—with the stance of Rushdie and his acolytes is cast as a narrow-minded, unenlightened, bigot…Eagleton reminds us: “Both Hitchens and Salman Rushdie have defended Amis’s slurs on Muslims”

“The irony is clear. Some of our free literary spirits are defending liberal values in ways that threaten to undermine them. In this, they reflect the behaviour of western states. Liberals are supposed to value nuanced analysis and moral complexity, neither of which are apparent in the slanderous reduction of Islam to a barbarous blood cult.”

read rest of the article here


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