Author Salman Rushdie — who had a fatwa placed on his head after publishing The Satanic Verses in 1988 — made a statement today about the attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.
On Twitter, he wrote:
Here's my brief statement about the awful events in Paris. Vive Charlie Hebdo! http://t.co/kspeTLCQ78
— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) January 7, 2015
In the linked statement, Rushdie said that “[r]eligion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms.”
“This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today,” he continued.
“I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.”
“‘Respect for religion’” has become a code phrase meaning “‘fear of religion,’” Rushdie concluded. “Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”