Listening to Fatwa, Radio 4’s new podcast, is a disconcerting experience for a Western liberal of a certain age. On the one hand, it’s totally gripping and brilliantly produced. On the other hand, it sometimes makes me so cross I could… well, what can a liberal do? We don’t ban things, burn things or issue death threats. The most we can muster is stern words – so here are mine.
It is 30 years since the late Ayatollah Khomeini called on his fellow Muslims to murder the British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie for blasphemy. Rushdie spent the next 13 years in hiding. Hitoshi Igarashi, the book’s Japanese translator, was stabbed to death, and 37 people died in an arson attack on a hotel where his...
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