Sir Salman “Scruffy” Rushdie (sorry, I just can’t help myself, it’s too cute), whose name is frequently evoked in the Jewel of Medina affair (note to the Ian Fleming estate: great title for a Bond film), has weighed in (“Rushdie condemns cancellation of Muhammad novel,” by Hillel Italie, AP)
“I am very disappointed to hear that my publishers, Random House, have canceled another author’s novel, apparently because of their concerns about possible Islamic reprisals,” Rushdie said Thursday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “This is censorship by fear, and it sets a very bad precedent indeed.”
The Independent finds this funny, or at least–what’s the word?–ironic (“Rushdie attacks censorship – while trying to stifle criticism of himself,” by Amol Rajan):
Rushdie’s very public intervention comes at a time when he is engaged in a legal battle to amend the content of a book that criticised him.
Rushdie denied there was any contradiction in his actions, saying: “[Sherry Jones's book] is a work of fiction. Ron Evans’s book is not, and it contains a very large number of provable lies and complete absurdities which were defamatory not just about me but my son’s mother, Elizabeth West, the Metropolitan Police and people including John Major and Norman Tebbit.
Also, he added, “Evans and the others did not call me ‘Scruffy,’ they called me ‘Sartorially Splendid.’”
Just kidding. I made that up.