NPR : News

Rushdie Decries 'Mindset Of The Fanatic' That Sparks Anti-American Protests

Play associated audio

Anti-American demonstrations tied to the film Innocence of Muslims spread to Afghanistan's capital today, where a thousand or so men and boys shouted "death to America!," burned cars and threw stones at police.

From Kabul, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported on Morning Edition that about 20 police officers were injured before authorities succeeded in breaking up the demonstration. The violence in Afghanistan was sparked in part, of course, by anger over the anti-Islam film, which was posted on YouTube this summer and sparked outrage after it was translated into Arabic. The filmmaker who has been linked to the video, 55-year-old Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, lives in Southern California.

Anger over a NATO airstrike that Afghan officials say killed eight women also may have played a role in the Kabul protest.

Other protests that some have tied to outrage over the film have turned deadly. In Libya last week, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died when the consulate in Benghazi was attacked.

While the protest in Kabul today was violent, NPR's Leila Fadel and Michele Kelemen spoke earlier on Morning Edition about howthe demonstrations seemed to subside over the weekend across the Middle East and Africa. Still, as they noted, tensions remain high. There's also this: "The influential leader of the Lebanon-based Shia Muslim militant group, Hezbollah, has called for fresh protests over an anti-Islam film," the BBC writes.

And also on Morning Edition, author Salman Rushdie — who for more than two decades has been a marked man because Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini declared that his book The Satanic Verses was "against Islam" and that Rushdie was therefore "sentenced to death" — shared his view about the people responsible for such violence.

It is the "mindset of the fanatic, mindset of the tyrant" to respond to an insult to one's religion with violence, Rushdie told host Steve Inskeep. "To murder people who had nothing to do with it," he added, is a "deeply uncivilized attitude."

"Something has gone wrong inside the Muslim world," Rushdie continued. Just a few decades ago, he said, major cities in the Arab and Muslim world were outward-looking. But "in the last half century, these cultures seem to have slid backwards into medievalism and represssion. ... It is one of the great self-inflicted wounds."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference.
NPR

Hillary Clinton Set To Become Formal Democratic Nominee For President

Bill Clinton speaks Tuesday night after his wife Hillary Clinton formally becomes the Democratic nominee for president. One open question is how smoothly the nominating process will go.
NPR

Solar-Powered Plane Completes Historic Circumnavigation

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Abu Dhabi, where its journey began 17 flights ago in March 2015. Alternating with another pilot, Bertrand Piccard flew around the world with no fuel.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.