Rushdie Decries 'Mindset Of The Fanatic' That Sparks Anti-American Protests | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
NPR

Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget

A Canadian scholar was unimpressed with the cookbooks available for people on food stamps in the U.S. So she decided to come up with her own set of tips and recipes for eating well on $4 a day.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Defense Zeroes In On Star Witness' Credibility

Defense attorney William Burck is focusing on inconsistencies in what Jonnie Williams told investigators as well as his stock dealings.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

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