Sending Salman Rushdie earnest best wishes for a full recovery.
The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas — uncertainty, progress, change — into crimes.
—Herbert Reade Memorial Lecture (6 February 1990)
What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
—Imaginary Homelands p. 391 (1992)
I do not envy people who think they have a complete explanation of the world, for the simple reason that they are obviously wrong.
—Salman Rushdie — Talking with David Frost (1993)
Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms.
—Statement in The Wall Street Journal, Salman Rushdie: “I Stand With Charlie Hebdo, as We All Must” (7 January 2015)
We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them. How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
—Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992–2002
Two things form the bedrock of any open society—freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a free country.
—The Times of India, ‘Don’t allow religious hooligans to dictate terms’ (16 January 2008)