It is with regret and great sadness that the Muslims community worldwide receives the news of knighthood being confirmed on an infamous writer, Salmaan Rushdie. The decision to honour him with the knighthood amounts to a clear provocation and utter disrespect for the feelings and sentiments of the second largest faith community of this country. Given the circumstances in which British Muslims find themselves at this moment of time and considering the relationship between establishments and the British Muslims community, it perplex us to think that such decision can reasonably be taken by responsible people.
The name of Rushdie represents a hasty, a past in the life of British Muslims which brings with it emotions and strong feelings. The insane and blasphemous work in the name of literature carried out by Mr Rushdie caused a lot of anger, sadness and shock within the wider Muslims community around the world. The distaste shown towards decency in his book, Satanic Verses, amounted to nothing less then contempt and hatred. The responses of the British Muslims were clear and unequivocal. On the face of the history, the known obvious that honouring such an irresponsible, prejudicial person will cause enormous offence to the large British Muslims community should have been enough of a reason for the authorities to veto such decision. When the acts of governments and other establishments fail to respect the sensitivities, feelings and emotions of British Muslims, we are entitled to interpret this act as a deliberate provocation aimed at testing the resilience and good spirit of our community.
The time now has certainly changed as has the mindset and the approaches of Muslim community in the UK. The values and principles on which our faith stands have not changed. The ground on which Rushdie’s work deemed deeply offensive has not changed either. This latest irresponsible act by the establishment may not cause the outpouring of people on the streets, but shall cause bloodbath of disappointment, sadness and helplessness within the hearts of British Muslims. We express our deepest sadness and ask the authorities to rethink their decision.