Nytt

Muslimske organisasjoner i India vil hindre at Salman Rushdie er gjest på litteraturfestivalen i Rajasthan. Problemet er bare: han er indiskfødt og har papirene i orden.

Hvordan skal de de hindre ham i å delta? En av lederne for festivalen, William Dalrymple, er nedslått. Han sier ingen har bidratt mer til å løfte frem indiske forfattere enn Rushdie.

Men for de som hater Rushdie fordi han skrev Sataniske vers, betyr litterære fortjenester lite.

Rushdie har havnet i samme kategori som Kurt Westergaard og Lars Vilks. Fornærmelser mot islam vil aldri bli glemt.

Det er – ikke overraskende – representanter for den islamistiske deoband-bevegelsen som protesterer og vil frata Rushdie visumet. Men Rushdie trenger ikke visum for å besøke India.

Det er valg i delstaten Uttar Pradesh og derfor konkurranse om de muslimske velgerne. Det får hindu-partier, som Janata, til å si at det ikke er riktig at Rushdie kommer på besøk i en valgkamp. Man ønsker ikke å provosere. Tvert om. Kongresspartiet har lovet kvotering i det offentlige og universitetsplasser til muslimer for å vinne stemmer.

The Rajasthan festival later this month is due to host leading writers and playwrights, including Annie Proulx, Ben Okri, David Hare and Richard Dawkins.
Fatwas from the Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband are observed throughout the world. Its vice chancellor said tens of millions of muslims remain ‘hurt’ the novel.

«I call upon the Muslim organisations of the country to mount pressure on the centre to withdraw the visa and prevent him visiting India where [tens of millions] community members still feel hurt owing to the anti-Islamic remarks in his writings The Muslims cannot pardon him at any cost,» said Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani, the institute head.

His remarks were supported by party leaders in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state which is home to the seminary and is currently holding a state election campaign in which Muslim votes could decide the outcome. India’s ruling Congress Party has targeted the state’s Muslim voters with pledges of new quotas for government jobs and university places.

Rajesh Dixit, general secretary of the Samajwadi Party, the state’s second largest party, said the author’s visit must be prevented to avoid insult to India’s Muslims.

«Those who cause tensions between communities should not be allowed to come,» he said. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said Sir Salman’s arrival was «not proper» during the Uttar Pradesh state election campaign.
Sir Salman, who was born in Mumbai and holds Indian travel documents, remains committed to appearing at the festival, he said.

Sir Salman Rushdie facing threats of Muslim reprisals over Jaipur Literature Festival appearance