Novelist (Sir) Salman Rushdie has received a knighthood, and a handful of Islamic leaders and clerics are crying foul. Let's go to the Times story:
Ijaz-ul-Haq, the [Pakistani] Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.
He later retracted his statement, explaining that he had intended to say that knighting Rushdie will foster extremism. “If someone blows himself up, he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West? We demand an apology by the British government. Their action has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims."
"Hurt sentiments" are now a justification for murder? So if someone tells me that my favorite philosopher, Eric Hoffer, was an asshole, then I can kill him in good conscience?
For all of the macho bravado coming out of the militant Islamic world, they strike me as a bunch of overly delicate sissies. If someone kills your family, I can see swearing a blood oath against them. But a foreign novelist depicts a religious figure in an unflattering light and you must kill to avenge the slight? Did these people not see The Last Temptation of Christ? Do they not realize that Jesus is also an honored prophet in the Koran? Where is the fatwa against Scorsese?
What's next, a death order against the neighbor who sneaks some naan during Ramadan?