Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

For Rushdie: Essays by Arab and Muslim Writers in Defense of Free Speech Paperback – March 1, 1994


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$44.54 $2.80
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: George Braziller (March 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080761355X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807613559
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,627,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The 91 Arab and Muslim writers in this collection have labelled Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses absurdly brilliant, ponderously dull and extremely offensive, sometimes all in the same essay. Many of these commentators have never even read the book, living as they do in countries where it has been banned. Yet all have taken up the cause of the writer, who for five years has lived under the late Ayatollah Khomeini's infamous fatwa , or sentence of capital punishment. Many particularly resent Khomeini's subversion of Islamic law to terrorist ends, especially when directed at a British author who is no longer a practicing Muslim. Others use their pieces to inform Western audiences about the numerous unsung martyrs to creative expression in the Middle East, from the Egyptian intellectual Farag Foda to the Saudi Arabian poet Sadiq Melallah. A few contributors criticize the Western media for seizing upon the Rushdie affair as a symbol of the intolerance Islam preaches, when Khomeini's followers by no means constitute a majority of believers. All of the 91 authors, however, recognize the importance of free and open discourse and bemoan the wave of Islamic fundamentalists who have turned their backs on human rights altogether. As the Libyan writer Amin Maalouf writes, "No doctrine dies from being criticized, or even attacked; but it can die from being made impermeable to criticism."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In this important collection of letters, poems, and essays, 91 Arab and Muslim writers call for the right to free expression in totalitarian political regimes and urge solidarity with the still-exiled Salman Rushdie. Several themes recur: the political and religious illegitimacy of Khomeini's fatwa; exile as the human condition; and the conflict between fiction and fundamentalism. The book presents, for the first time, the reactions of Muslim writers to The Satanic Verses, as well as to Khomeini's subsequent reaction to the book. While many of the writers disagree with Rushdie's ideas, all defend his right to express them. In addition, by recalling the deaths of Egyptian writer Farag Foda and Algerian writer Tahar Djaout, the book forcefully reminds us that in the worlds of these writers acts of writing are acts of courage. More powerful than the recent Rushdie Letters (LJ 4/1/ 93), the book should be read by all those engaged in the struggle to maintain the right to free expression.
Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Over 100 Arab and Muslim intellectuals compiled this passionate book supporting freedom of expression; some have even urged Muslim intellectuals to re-read The Satanic Verses as a literary work of highest merit demonstrating original imagination and a compassion for the Islamic world. One must note that even though the book has not included Najib Mahfouz's contribution (Mahfouz is the Nobel price laureate for literature 1988), the Egyptian novelist expressed his condemnation of the Fatwa in the Arabic newspaper, Al Ahram (2 March, 1989, p: 7). Mahfouz challenged those who have not even read the novel to respond to Rushdie's engagement with sacred material with the same amount of originality and depth deployed in the novel's complex narrative. Furthermore, these brave intellectuals had experienced, as some of them freely admitted, forms of despicable cencorship, torture and abuse. Mahfouz himself understands this when 20 years before the publication of The Satanic Verses, he wrote his 'notorious' novel Children of Gebelawi, exploring the Nietzschean notion of the Death of God. The novel was banned in Cairo and published only later in Beirut in 1967. An English translation was published in 1981. The Religious Council of Al-azhar University interfered by deleting some parts of the Arabic text. With the publication of The Satanic Verses, there was even an association made by the same institution between the two novels. This book would have been written in any Islamic epoch where religious autocracts tried to control intellectual freedom. If anything this book invalidates the media's demonisation of 'Islam' and affirms that freedom of thought is very much and Islamic and Arab streak.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By absent_minded_prof on February 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Given the gravity of this topic, I think that it is important explicitly to point out, to whoever reads this, that I am not an expert or an authority on Islam, in any way. However, like so many of us in these troubled times, I am trying to learn all that I can about the modern complexities of Islam. Probably most of you reading this are in the same frame of mind that I am! Therefore, in this humble capacity, I would like to share my thoughts on this brave, fascinating, timely anthology.
This book includes a selection of approximately one hundred essays, poems, and songs, by a vast array of thinkers, all writing from the very heart of the Islamic tradition. The voices collected here speak in a variety of modes, ranging from the literary, to the religious, to the philosophical. Some are heartfelt and emotional: others tough, rational, and lawyerly. All, however, join in emphatically, lucidly, intelligently criticizing Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against the author Salman Rushdie. All speak from an Islamic perspective -- indeed, there is even an opinion expressed by an actual Iranian ayatollah, Djalal Gandjeih.
These essays were originally penned by Islamic intellectuals in a wide-ranging panoply of occupations. Represented here are filmmakers, newspaper columnists, poets, psychoanalysts, sociologists, and more. They come from many countries. People familiar with Islam might not be surprised to find essays by relatively laid-back Moroccans, but there are also many sane, calm, clearly articulated voices coming out of Syria, Libya, Sudan... all over the Islamic world. What this variegated population of thinkers has in common, is an uncommon willingness to speak out, for what their faith tells them is right.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
That post by the guy from Japan is a disgrace. He's says he's not committing himself, but then he proceeds, in essence, to support the fatwa against Rushdie (pbuh). So what if Rushdie offended some Muslims (the vast majority of whom, though claiming to be offended, have never actually read the book). The phrase "Satanic Verses" refers to an actual event that occurred in Islam, and was definitively reported by the medieval Arab scholar al-Turabi. Thus, the phrase and the events depicted in the book are firmly based on Islamic history. They are not just gratuitous attempts to slander Islam. There are plenty of former Christians who say bad things about Jesus and Christianity, but the rest of us don't go around pronouncing death sentences on them for writing books. They will have to answer for their actions and beliefs when they meet God in eternity.
Buy this book. The writers who are a part of it have engaged in a bold and courageous act, and at no small threat to their own personal safety.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was much heartened to see that writers, an editor, and a publisher would all have the courage to stand up for freedom of speech, and for broad-mindedness. The courage required to do this, on the part of intellectuals from barbaric, repressive, and thuggish Islamic countries, is not to be underestimated. Some of these people took their lives in their hands, spoeaking up as they did. Hooray!!!! But hear this... What most struck me is: Be it the Bible and right-wing thugs in the US, or the Koran and hateful Islamic thugs in barbaric regimes in the Middle East, there are always those who will find words (in whatever source) to justify their hate. I have read the Bible, and I know how to justify hate, from it. I also know how to justify love and broad-mindedness, from this same source. I'm very glad to see (from this "For Rushdie" book, and other sources) that the Koran, too, has plenty of verses, and plenty of readers, that would speak out for broad-mindedness, and even for Love. Hooray!!!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again