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Joseph Anton, a brilliant and important book

20 September 2012

9:20 AM

20 September 2012

9:20 AM

I’m halfway through Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie’s memoir of what it was like to be given a death sentence by medieval religious savages. I’m reviewing the book for next week’s magazine. We were, as a country, rather less than unequivocal in our determination to protect Rushdie for his right to exercising free speech; plenty of people who should have known better gave succour to his persecutors. I don’t know if the oleaginous Labour MP Keith Vaz falls into that category, mind; his support for the howling mob was, I suppose, predictable.

It’s a brilliant and important book. And there is a surprising amount of humour in it. So I’ll leave you with a puzzle. One of Rushdie’s police guards once parked his car outside a tobacconists and forgot to lock it. When he came out the car had gone. He was known to all his colleagues, as a consequence, as The King of Spain. Why?


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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Nice thought.

  • WetherspoonThree

    How are you getting on Rod? I have managed to get through most of it. If the books dry up I think Salman Rushdie should consider a new career path. Maybe a police commissioner, a newspaper ‘agency aunt’, or a marriage counsellor although I suspect Yentob could find find something delicious at the BBC.

  • OldSlaughter

    1 car loss?

  • David Ossitt

    Juan Carlos is a make of cigar from the Dominican Republic.

  • http://twitter.com/Waltroon Walter Ellis

    Did the police officer, in the hope that no one would connect him with the car-theft business, change his name to Juan Carlos? Probably not.

  • Eddie

    I find Rushdie’s magic realism literariness almost unreadable, but may well have a lot of this when all the people now sell it for 99p…
    One big question: why is it that none of those who called for the death of Rushdie in 1989 has ever been arrested or questions: they include Iqbal Sacranie, later made a Sir for heading that corrupt self-appointed theorcracy The Muslim Council of Britain, who is on tape saying that death is too good for Rushdie, he should be tortued first. Many many others like that.
    And what about all the leftwingers, all the socalled liberals, who defended and suppported them – or at best, turned a blind eye to the threats of violence and murder: I am sure that’s an offence too: if so, then many thousands at our universities, schools, in our political parties and at the BBC could be arrested too.

    • Trofim

      Roy Hattersley, for one.

    • PaleandWan

      His “literariness” is only almost unreadable, Headie? My God, and what would be better for him than death? In your opinion? I’d torture him in one of our universitie; force him to take a course, or have you read to him, from your collected works.

      • Eddie

        Errr…I find it perfectly acceptable (and indeed admirable) to create words to express meaning: all the most intelligent writers do, y’know.
        Unlike 40% of British Muslims, I have never called for the death of Salman Rushdie.
        You are clearly a sockpuppet idiot Amandy.
        But good luck with your GCSEs (be quick though coz soon they’s getting harder, innit! There’s even a rumour that to get an A grade you may well even have to read a book, or maybe even two, all the way through!).

    • Rio

      May I just say Good Riddence, John Terry. ‘Bout time we see the back of ya, ya foul-mouthed, racist, prick faced, “workin'” class adulterin’, motherpetting,nasty belchin’ piece a shite intimidator of choc ice verbally challenged ignorant,,sans cultivation, good for nuffink, classless, ugly, too culturally outre to be even considerd on the same level as scum or even Joey Bar Tone, make mine a thank my family and wife who just has to be on some cheap drugs, so glad I’ll be around to be hated when playing for Chelsea and so,on, forever,,etc., …God, I hate you…

    • Eddie

      Just noticed a hilarious piece by Yasmin Ali-booboo-moan in The Independent, slagging off Rushdie, blaming Westerners for Muslims being violent and arguing that we should shut up and pander to Islamists. What a hypocrite that woman is. She asks why Western ‘liberals’ don’t also criticise Christians or other religions. Errr, Life of Brian anyone? Multiple jokes on sketch shows?
      And Jewish humour? (quite unlike the nasty lying anti-semitic filth on TV and in papers in Muslim countries day in day out).
      And I have never known an atheist bomb anyone or threaten to kill them for telling a joke about atheists.
      The Islamic issue is different: 40% of British Muslims understand the 7/7/ bombings and 15% think those terrorist acts were ‘a good thing’; most think Rushdie should be punished for writing a (boring) book.
      Good on the French magazine for publishing cartoons of Mohammed (the 7th century warlord, NOT ‘the prophet’ to me or most people, BBC take note!). If the BBC and all UK magazines and papers published these cartoons as part of a news story, and all TV and mags in the US and Europe did too, then we’d learn how integrated Muslims really are these days…

    • Eddie

      Just noticed a hilarious piece by Yasmin Ali-booboo-moan in The Independent, slagging off Rushdie, blaming Westerners for Muslims being violent and arguing that we should shut up and pander to Islamists. What a hypocrite that woman is. She asks why Western ‘liberals’ don’t also criticise Christians or other religions. Errr, Life of Brian anyone? Multiple jokes on sketch shows?
      And Jewish humour? (quite unlike the nasty lying anti-semitic filth on TV and in papers in Muslim countries day in day out).
      And I have never known an atheist bomb anyone or threaten to kill them for telling a joke about atheists.
      The Islamic issue is different: 40% of British Muslims understand the 7/7/ bombings and 15% think those terrorist acts were ‘a good thing’; most think Rushdie should be punished for writing a (boring) book.
      Good on the French magazine for publishing cartoons of Mohammed (the 7th century warlord, NOT ‘the prophet’ to me or most people, BBC take note!). If the BBC and all UK magazines and papers published these cartoons as part of a news story, and all TV and mags in the US and Europe did too, then we’d learn how integrated Muslims really are these days…

  • Ram

    Salman Rushdie is not always a good writer. He has published lots of mediocre stuff. But with Satanic Verses he pulled off a feat that would have won the plaudits of Dostoevsky. He had the dostoevskian insight that the future was going to be devastated by Islamic rage and he wrote a hugely brilliant novel examining the roots of it in the most ambitious and unorthodox way. It was like Dostoevsky’s novels examining the implications of the revolutionary socialist ideas that were becoming current among the Russian intelligentsia in the mid-nineteenth century. Doestoevsky brutally lampooned socialism and this marred the moments of unparalleled illumination his novels on revolutionary nihilism have. Rushdie is above all such political game-playing in his incredible book which at points ramps and raves with sheer genius. Even the names of the chapters are redolent of a weird grandeur: The Angel Gabreel, The Angel Azareel, Elowen-Delowen, The Closing of the Arabian Sea…….Rushdie’s subject is more than Islam, it is monotheism and its culturally nihilistic consequences. Dogmatic monotheism destroys freedom and human creativity: it is totalitarian and Orwellian. This indictment applies to all the monotheistic relgions, including Christianity. That is the great lesson of the Rushdie novel, which is by man of Indian background looking at the damage monotheism has wrought.

    • JackoShea
    • William Reid Boyd

      No, he was obviously having a breakdown. The book is dreadful.

      Does his new book mention diving holidays in Hurghada, Egypt, by any chance? I only mention because the guest house I used when I dived there in the ’90s claimed that an entry in its guest book proved that Salman patronised the establishment as well. I was never quite sure whether it was a come-on or not (much like your piece).

      • Ram

        It is too easy to dismiss any important work of art by saying the artist had a breakdown. Up to a point I agree with you. Never before or since has Rushdie produced anything even a tenth as good as some of the pages of “The Satanic Verses”. It is almost as if this book had been written by a different man, much more gifted than Rushdie. He obviously prodiuced it in a fever of inspiration. I treasure a lot of things in this nivel – for instance the very original and visually splendid description of the air crash at the beginning. The trouble many Western and British readers like you have with the book is that you do not know enough about Islam or India to realise its richness of ideas and emotion. I don’t know of any other novel which conveys so powerfully how bewildering it is for Muslims, brought up in a completely monotheist tradition making little allowance for doubt, to fit into the modern world with all its diversities and choices.
        Dostoevsky’s novels are very disorderly, too, and he had breakdowns. He said he got some of his finest ideas just before his epileptic fits.

        • William Reid Boyd

          The plane crash was good I do admit, but for me the novel got caught up in the wreckage shortly thereafter. I mean really, I was disappointed having thought I was in for a good read there.

          I didn’t mean to be dismissive. “Midnight’s Children” and “Shame” were very fine novels, and while I personally favoured Peter Carey’s “Oscar and Lucinda” (such a gloriously joyous novel) for the Booker of Booker’s, I certainly agree Salman was a worthy winner.

          But “Satanic Verses” was a total yawn for me and, so one gathers, pretty well evryone else utter it not in Gath (if that’s in Iran … wherever).

          You might be right about it deserving reappraisal in the light of events but nothing could persuade me to re-read it, even a miraculous resurrection by the blessed Christopher Hitchens promising eternal bliss in the form of 40 fair maidens and stuff if I did … :)

        • MikeF

          “I don’t know of any other novel which conveys so powerfully how bewildering it is for Muslims, brought up in a completely monotheist tradition making little allowance for doubt, to fit into the modern world with all its diversities and choices.”
          Christians seem to manage it for the most part.

          • Ram

            This is because Christianity has been subjected to ruthless reformation by events like the French and Russian Revolutions. These cut it down to size and fitted it for its small role in modern life and curbed its worst pretensions to dominance. Islam has not had this chastening influence.

        • MikeF

          “I don’t know of any other novel which conveys so powerfully how bewildering it is for Muslims, brought up in a completely monotheist tradition making little allowance for doubt, to fit into the modern world with all its diversities and choices.”
          Christians seem to manage it for the most part.

    • MikeF

      How can ‘lampooning’ socialism ‘mar’ anything else Dostoyesvsky wrote – unless, of course, you think that socialism ought to be regarded as beyond the possibility of critical comment? A lot of socialists do, but then that is because they think they ought to be regarded in that way.
      As for Rushdie and The Satanic Verses the book is a product of a time when all religion was regarded by the ‘liberal-left’ of whom Rushdie is a member as fit only for ridiucule. What has changed since then is that much of the left has adopted a grovelling sycophantic attitude to Islam for a number of reasons – an opportunistic ‘multi-culturalism’ that seeks to use a feigned concern for the sensibilities of religious and ethnic minorities as a means of undermining democratic culture and an all too real abasement of itself before a propensity for naked violence. Notice how the left’s Islamophilia was stepped up not down after 9/11? Hence the odd, under-stated, ambiguous attitide the left has always shown towards the fatwa.
      Let’s get this straight. Salman Rushdie is only alive today because the British state acting in accordance with the principles of the defence of free speech and of the inviolability of human life has protected him. Those are principles that much of the left regards as dispensible.

      • Ram

        Attacking socialism is what many of Dostoevsky’s most famous novels are about – at least in intention. In parctice, his idea of what socialism is is so distorted and extreme that many of his blows do not hit the target. There are nonetheless great moments of revelation as to what some recognisably modern kinds of nihilsim can lead to. This is why I rate his novels so highly, as great though flawed.
        On another point you raise, it is vulgar and misdleading to associate appeasement of Islamic extremism only with the Left. This is not a neat Left-Right issue. The Right has an incomparably more criminal and prolonged history of inciting let alone appeasing Islamic fundamentalism.
        The UK under Thatcher and the US under Reagan created Islamist extremism in the Indian Subcontinent by flooding Pakistan with guns, dollars and drugs to hit the Russians in Afghanistan, with India as a side target. India has taken scores of thousands of deaths as a result.
        The Afghan “Holy Warriors” against the Soviets so beloved of Reagan were most of them ferocious Islamists, who imposed appalling Dark Ages Isalmist regimes wherever they ruled. The Taliban arose in opposition to the Mauhjahedins’ bloody fractiousness, but very much shared their Dark Age Islamism. Both were breastfed by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, the bosom buddy in those days of the CIA.
        The US and the UK, together with Saudi Arabia, knew exactly what they were doing in so enthusiastically flooding Pakistan with guns, dollars, drugs, and extreme Islamist propaganda, bleeding the Russians and, on the side, the Indians. The US and the UK created the Islamist monster which later turned on them.
        Indians are well aware of this grisly history, and that is why some of them say: “Serves you right!” when they hear about US-UK forces getting hit in Afghanistan.
        Saudi Arabia is by universal consent the source land of modern jihad and yet it is the long cosseted darling of the Western Right. The Saudi ambassador is an honoured guest at the Court of St James and horse races at Ascot. The Us was the original sponsor of Osama bin Laden and Bush raised heaven and earth to hurriedly fly dozens of Saudi bigshots out of the US right after 9/11 to prevent their interrogation.
        So kindly lay off about the Left and Islam appeasement.

  • Cortun

    What laziness is it that a man considers a book ‘brilliant and important’ when he is only ‘halfway through’? Or is he just playing with us? I cannot imagine Liddle being impressed by anything this boring t…t has written. SR’s ‘fame’ is all down the the Ayatollah and his fatwa. I cannot imagine anyone has got through any book Rushdie has written (obviously RL couldn’t before his deadline). Rushdie should have stuck to the snappier prose he wrote when he was an adman, such as ‘naughty but nice’.

  • Cortun

    this william boyd is foolish; there will be huge protests tomorrow Friday after prayers. Which is why the French are closing 20 embassies.

  • Reece, 16

    Average writer, but I force myself to like him because of the idiocy of the fatwa (mirrored recently). Still don’t understand why more of the left didn’t side with Hitchens (Christopher) over this. Not a fan of the offense culture.

  • Spartacusbund

    Willam Boyd you have nailed it ,Well done

    • William Reid Boyd

      Thanks!

      • Spartacusbound

        You’re welcome, Bill.

  • Fergus Pickering

    I agree with you about Rushdie’s predicament,and he is a brave man but, judging from the bits read out on Radio 4, the book has a rather self-absorbed and self-important air. Salman Rushdie is sure he is an important writer. I am not sure about that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      I was stood behind him waiting to leave the aeroplane we had travelled together on. He stood without moving and I asked, politely if I could pass. He turned and berated me for my impatience for a full two minutes. I waited until he had finished and said’ I asked if you would let through please. I didn’t ask you to write me novel.” He sat down.

  • William Reid Boyd

    The trouble with ‘Satanic Verses’ was that it was mind-numbingly tedious. You really had to work hard to get to the offensive bits. For the same reason people aren’t working themselves into a lather defending the ‘Innocence of Muslims’, essentially ‘Love in the Desert’ with an anti-islamic voice-over.

    The Charlie Hebdo cartoons are a different matter. They are a genuinely witty commentary on the current situation and my guess is that in fact they won’t attract protests. The mullahs are savvy enough to know you don’t go after the potent stuff, just the weak shit.

    And Rod wasn’t using medieval as an insult. He was just pointing out that in medieval times we were religious savages, which is so, and that the current lot in Iran still are, which is also so. The Hundred Years War is evidence sufficient of the former thesis, public executions and Holocaust Denial sufficient the latter. Those of us with ‘O’ level history, possibly one of St. Mick’s whacky baccs to come, are aware that medieval was a bit of good and bad together, as historical periods do tend to be.

    • Daniel Maris

      I think you are right that the followers of Sharia are less exercised about the more gratuitously offensive Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Odd…why? I think it comes down to the Mullahs recognising intellectual critiques are in the end more dangerous to Islam. Rushdie’s novel (though numbing of the mind, a real yawn-maker) was a disguised critique. The fact that he was himself born a Muslim made the offence worse.

      Similarly with the film, although it it was poorly put together, remember that many films seen by Middle Eastern audiences are pretty crass. But again there was a strong critique running through the film, centred on the mismatch between the claims made on behalf of Mohammed and the historical reality.

      Of course they will go after Hebdo, but probably not in the high profile way reserved for the video.

      • William Reid Boyd

        Well, that’s certainly arguable. I would say that you credit Muslims as making a reasoned decision about their faith whereas I’m inclined not to, any more than I’m inclined to credit your average Christian with a reasoned belief (both of course insist anyway that’s it’s not about reason but about faith).

        I myself thought Rusdie was being gratuitiously offensive when I finally got to the bits that caused offence. As I remember he basically suggested the archangel Gabriel was uttering bollocks and I should think that was especially decried, nor was that necessary to any critique he might have been making (though I couldn’t really fathom one beyond ya bollocks).

        ‘Innocence of Muslims’ simply too stupid even to bother discussing, the crudest of slanders and libels.

        The thing about the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is that they’re desperately funny (well as funny as the French get). Better not describe any in detail here, but the one involving deep throat of a porky nature is really amusing and works at many levels, mostly to satirise the adult film industry rather than setting out to gratuitiously offend Islam. I rather suspect many in the Middle East would find it amusing and thus it will be repressed rather than protested.

        • Daniel Maris

          It’s the clerics who make the decisions about what is offensive. They then get the mobs out on the street.

          As for the Hebdo cartoons, I thought the humour was rather crude, compared with the Danish cartoons, many of which were genuinely funny (and better drawn).

          • William Reid Boyd

            Slightly off-topic reply but readers might care to look at this http://www.aljazeerah.info/News/2012/September/20%20n/Orchestrated%20Anti-Islam%20Media%20Campaign%20Reaches%20France,%20Charlie%20Hebdo%20Cartoons%20and%2 0Topless%20Women%20in%20Paris%20Muslim%20Neighborhood.htm as an example of provocative rabble rousing by a Muslim academic Dr. Hassan El-Najjar with tenure at an American university (Dalton College, Georgia). Scroll down the page (nice pics) and note the not so subtle way Dr. H. contrives to implicate an unrelated September 19 Paris protest by the enterprising Ukranian woman right’s group FEMEN (features in Wikipedia). FEMEN has protested against Islam in London recently http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA-JIFB0-Oc (nice video) but the French September 19 protest was not anti-Islamic.

            Incidentally Dr. H’s “Al-Jazeerah” is nothing to do the celeberated Al-Jazeera of Qatar. Search on “Orchestrated Anti-Islam Media Campaign
            Reaches France: Charlie Hebdo Cartoons and Topless Women in Paris
            Muslim Neighborhood” to reach the page if that long web link above doesn’t survive posting.

          • William Reid Boyd
            • William Reid Boyd

              Well, perhaps I was monopolising the discussion but it’s interesting as an example of the the kind of rabble-rousing mentioned by Daniel. It’s not all mullahs in Tehran.

          • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

            You are right. You can bet not one of ranting, flag burning rioters have seen the film and do not know what the sin is. I had a muslim aquainance who spoke of the poetry of the Koran. Had he read it, I asked. No. Did he have a copy? Yes . is it in English? No. It is in Arabic. Did he understand Arabic. No. So how did he know the Koran was very poetic, I pursued. The Imam told him.

  • Dr Cromarty

    Please stop using ‘medieval’ as an insult.
    The Middle Ages gave us: universities, banking (OK, I’ll give you that one), the foundations of modern philosophy (Aquinas, Ockham, Boethius) and literature (Dante, Chaucer, Beowolf), illustrated books, romantic love, spectacles, mechanical clocks and the Magna Carta.
    Not that it was all sweetness and light, but its virtues are at least as great as its vices

    • Barry

      Not to mention some fine architecture and even a little music.

      • Ram

        Islam has far more of both.

        • mattghg

          Islamic ‘music’? Please, you can keep it.

          • Swanky Yanky

            Music to get stoned to.
            Actually, there are some Arab popsters that produce some good dance music, such as ‘Leiley’ by Dania (Transglobal remix). I also find the melancholic ‘Elama’ by Yasser Habeeb very touching. These singers take risks, and not just musical ones. One young romantic rai singer was gunned down some years back in Algeria for the crime of singing love songs. A lot of these musicians are now exiles in France because of the intolerance of their co-religionists. (Note however that not all Arabs are Muslim: George Wassouf, for instance, is a Christian from Syria.)

            • Eddie

              Yes, indeed: in Wahabi Islam, which is the literalist Islam that has been spread around the world using Saudi oil money (which the US turned a blind eye to), all books except the Koran are ‘haram’ (forbidden/unclean/unholy) and should be destroyed (which is what happened to the Library of Alexandria around 1000 years ago), all ‘craven images’ are idols and should be destroyed (which is what happened to Mohammed’s grave too), and all images of anything should be banned – including TV, cinema, paintings – and all music and lyrics that are not of the Koran should be destroyed (all musical instruments, all songs and lyrics). So most Arabic music, songs, art, sculpture (as at the Alhambra) would be smashed and destroyed by these Islamic purists.
              Makes Savaronola look like a Liberal Democrat really.
              But then, fundamentalist Christians share some of this zealotry, and some – eg the Plymouth Brethren – also ban all technology and TV etc (though judging by the crap the BBC spews out these days, I have think they might have the right idea!)
              Re Arabs – yep, not all are Muslim, and not all Muslims are Arab (the Iranians are not, which will come as news to most Americans, no doubt). It waqs indeed the Arab empire that grew and conquered north Africa, and which then used Islam as a uniter and oppressor so its leaders could speak in god’s name.

    • Daniel Maris

      Yes, medieval isn’t a suitable term of abuse really. Totalitarian is the insult that fits. And we have seen totalitarian movements throughout history (and the Medieval Christian Church can be criticised as one). They are often mediated by personality cults built around great leaders. Their key features: every aspect of life, including the personal, is subject to the diktats of the movemnet, and the great leader must be revered and obeyed, must be immune to criticism. Savanarola and Calvin are also examples.

      • Austin Barry

        Islam is, perhaps, the last great global tyranny. It has nothing to offer except theocratic brutality. Unlike Christianity and other religions it makes no pretence of promoting loving kindness, but peddles an ugly idiocy under its ironic banner of Peace. At least by its actions we can see it, ever more clearly, for what it is. All of which raises the vital question: why does the West continue to accommodate and appease this cult’s squalid orthodoxies? Out of fear, or as some kind of fugitive and shabby cultural cringe that it is ‘the right thing to do’ for our ruling, effete leaders?

        • Laurence

          Austin, there is neither a sentence nor a sentiment here that I would change. Excellent post.

        • Baron

          Austin: ‘why does the West continue to accommodate…..’

          alot of a sticky stuff called oil, they have, we need.

          • Noa

            Ah Baron, perhaps we could skip its tiresome importation, and just wring what we need from the ever ‘oleaginous Mr Vaz…

          • Daniel Maris

            We don’t need their oil. If there was war in the Middle East and no oil came from there we would adjust and prosper.

          • Swanky Yanky

            Baron: May I suggest in its stead North Sea oil, Canadian tar sands (oil sands), Alaskan oil, and shale gas? And longer term, research into alternative fuels that will take this undeserved bounty away.

        • Ram

          Islam is the pre-Marxist Christianity of our time.

          • nancledra

            Stop talking bollocks, Ram.

          • Daniel Maris

            Why not shuffle the terms to make a more interesting if equally meaningless sentence.

        • Ram

          I suppose it is tough when monotheist intolerance hits Christianity, which itself revelled in it. The biter bit.

          • Austin Barry

            Ram, Eh?

    • Noa

      And also, in the West, trial by battle and by fire, hanging, drawing and quartering, stoning, death by burning… a fully functioning feudal system.
      The enlightened Islamic world was also spreading its message of peace in a way familiar to the modern TV watcher.

    • Adam Nixon

      In this context, “mediaeval” is perfectly correct. “If you don’t agree with our religion, we wil kill you.”. The only difference is that mediaeval Europeans tended to torture people to death extremely slowly, rthe ayatollahs apparently only want death for Rushdie. They are therefore more merciful than the mediaevals.
      Modern philosphy (as you choose to call it), literature, romantic love (a universal, not a mediaeval invention) and mechanical clocks are absolutely irrelevant to Liddle’s use of the word, as you surely realise.

    • Adam Nixon

      In this context, “mediaeval” is perfectly correct. “If you don’t agree with our religion, we wil kill you.”. The only difference is that mediaeval Europeans tended to torture people to death extremely slowly, rthe ayatollahs apparently only want death for Rushdie. They are therefore more merciful than the mediaevals.
      Modern philosphy (as you choose to call it), literature, romantic love (a universal, not a mediaeval invention) and mechanical clocks are absolutely irrelevant to Liddle’s use of the word, as you surely realise.

    • CalmDownetc

      I would actually take time out to read Mr. Liddle try his hand at reviewing the work of an Averroes or an Avicenna. I’m fascinated to  imagine what this modern illiterate would make of them. My God, Liddle and the artless, slanderous savage Rushdie. What a dark age we live in! 

    • Ram

      Monotheistic Christianity made a huge attack on the achievements of Graeco-Roamn culture. The world would have been far less dogmatic had Greek culture guided it rather than Middle Eastern fanaticism. Christianity is a stage to Islam.

      • Austin Barry

        Ram, what on earth are you on about? Christianity is a stage to Islam? You might as well assert that cricket is a stage to buggery. A meaningless concept of, what shall we call it, Ramology.

        • Ram

          Not really. There would have been no Islam without Christianity,whose input into the latter is immense. Mary is an Islamic saint (Miriam) as is John the Baptist (Yahya), and Jesus (Isa) is a recognised prophet of Islam. Moses (Musa), Isak (Ishaq), Jacob (Yakub), Job (Ayub), Joseph (Ysuf), David (Daud), Solomon (Salman), are all revered prophets in Islam, whose followers claim descent from Abraham (Ibrahim).

    • Ram

      So how about singing the praises of Mohammed on the same lines?

    • Asmodeus

      Also the printing press and ocean going sailing ships two technologies that created the modern world.

    • Nicholas

      I’d have to dispute that Beowulf was a product of the Middle Ages. A little earlier.

    • Eddie

      Ah yes good Doctor Cromarty, but the usage of ‘medieval’ is not literal; it is idiomatic, to mean brutal and backwards (whether that is historically accurate is not relevant). Same with many expressions: ‘decimate’ does not mean to kill one in ten if used idiomatically, and expressions of delight are rarely literal (fantastic, amazing, brilliant.). Language is idiomatic and metaphorical, not literal.
      True, Britain in the Middle Ages was pretty advanced, with rule of man-made law, which is way more advanced than Sharia already. (So were the so-called ‘Dark Ages’, actually). In fact, most of the brutality at the time came from the Church – so maybe we could use the adjective ‘Churchy’ or perhaps, ‘Roman’, ‘Popish’ or ‘Catholic’ instead of Medieval from now on?
      A pedant would also argue that it should be spelt ‘mediaeval’, you know…

  • Samoan Attorney

    He lost Granada……………I’ll get me coat

    • Atremble with admiration

      Let me get it for you! I’ll be your slave tonight.

  • The leveller

    Let me guess – Juan car lost….

  • DavidDP

    One car loss.
    Juan Carlos.

    • ButTheFagsWereGlorious

      As the man said, to hope that the growing vulnerability of a world increasingly integrated by technology will not demand a total despotism is mere foolishness. Or, as the other man succinctly summarized it, Islam is here to stay, so get used to it, motherfucker.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      well done I have been scratching my head for that one. LOL.

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