PR: Salman Rushdie

I would not consider myself someone with very strong ideas about religion, or who is very educated in religion. That being said, I don’t feel as though I know enough about Islamic culture to comment on one of the biggest controversies to do with Rushdie: his novel, The Satanic Verses. Despite that, there are other qualities about Rushdie that I find very intriguing. Rushdie, although having faced a seemingly endless amount of death threats, was and still is able to share and spread his ideas, no matter how controversial or how much trouble it will get him in. For some people, after receiving extreme death threats and having terrorist attacks blamed upon their work, they would most likely try to hide and never be talked about or seen again. For other people, like Rushdie, it is so important to them that they share their ideas that they are willing to risk their lives. Whether or not I agree with Rushdie’s past works and his main ideas aside, it is an admirable quality to be able to risk your life to spread a message. What makes it even more shocking, is that 34 years after Rushdie published his most controversial novel, he was stabbed, and this is not the first time he has been assaulted or the first assassination attempt on him. With a threat this real, it is commendable that he is able to continue doing what he does without fear. I would say I believe that everyone should have the right to have their own opinion (which can be a tricky subject, because sometimes that opinion can be harmful to the rest of humanity, which brings up some TOK questions, such as what makes an opinion right or wrong?) Even though I believe having an opinion is important, sharing it or acting on it can be harmful to humanity. This isn’t a black-or-white problem, it is a grey area, which is why it is difficult to comment on where Rushdie falls in whether or not his actions benefit or hurt humanity more, especially because I lack knowledge related to the subject.

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