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Quotes of the day: Salman Rushdie

Published Thursday, June 18, 2015 @ 9:45 PM EDT
Jun 18 2015

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (b. June 19, 1947) is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. He is said to combine magical realism with historical fiction; his work is concerned with the many connections, disruptions, and migrations between Eastern and Western civilizations. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the center of a major controversy, provoking protests from Muslims in several countries. Death threats were made against him, including a fatwa calling for his assassination issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on February 14, 1989, and as a result he was put under police protection by the British government. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.

I do not envy people who think they have a complete explanation of the world, for the simple reason that they are obviously wrong.

If Woody Allen were a Muslim, he'd be dead by now.

It matters, it always matters, to name rubbish as rubbish... to do otherwise is to legitimize it.

It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity.

Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of scraps, dogmas, childhood injuries, newspaper articles, chance remarks, old films, small victories, people hated, people loved; perhaps it is because of our sense of what is the case is constructed from such inadequate materials that we defend it so fiercely, even to the death.

Nothing really improves us. Whatever improves one person will disimprove another.

Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms.

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.

The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.

The world, somebody wrote, is the place we prove real by dying in it.

There is no right in the world not to be offended. That right simply doesn't exist. In a free society, an open society, people have strong opinions, and these opinions very often clash. In a democracy, we have to learn to deal with this.

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

What kind of God is it who's upset by a cartoon in Danish?


(June 19 is also the birthday of Blaise Pascal, Elbert Hubbard, and Pauline Kael.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Salman Rushdie


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