Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Chris Hitchens says the Pakistanis are "boring" to protest about Salman Rushdie's knighthood. "What right have they got to tell us who we should honour," he asked.

"It is a slap on the face of Muslims. It is not acceptable at all," said Farhana Khalid Binori, a member of Parliament from a "conservative religious party", according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Robert Brinkley, Britain's high commissioner to Pakistan, regurgitated the boilerplate outputted by governmental PR flacks: "It is simply untrue to suggest that this in anyway is an insult to Islam or the Prophet Muhammed, and we have enormous respect for Islam as a religion and for its intellectual and cultural achievements."

Rushdie himself, however, was totally mum on the subject, although the TV cameras did get some nice, scenic photos of the writer perambulating along a street lined with enormous columns: symbols of European greatness.

No books were reported burned this time, but some irate mean in white dresses "burned effigies of Queen Elizabeth II and Rushdie", according to Forbes.

It seems these Middle-eastern types have two standard items in their protest repertoire. They either burn something or shoot someone. Hitchens is right: it's boring.

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