"Blasphemy is a criminal offence all over the world."

Great Mosque of Cordoba

Begun by Abd al Rahman I in A.D. 785,
it eventually became the third largest mosque in the world.

Date: Wed, 06 May 1998 02:50:32 +0400
From: Wajahat Hussein (wajahath@emirates.net.ae)
To: cybrgbl@deltanet.com
Subject: Salman Rushdie

Blasphemy is a criminal offence all over the world. Salman rushdie is charged of doing so and must be punished. Simple as that.

author Salman Rushdie,
under threat of death by Iranian authorities
for writing book "The Satanic Verses"

      Dear Wajahat,

      Accused of a criminal offense as subjective as "blasphemy?" Accused by whom? A fallible human being? Well, I find certain ideas blasphemous and I am a fallible human being. Therefore, I find you guilty of blasphemy and sentence you to death for sympathizing with the call for the assassination of a foreign national (ie. Salman Rushdie) for writing a book. Simple as that.

      It is not true that blasphemy is a criminal offense everywhere. Some places in the world have suffered already the severe yoke of inquisitors and learned painfully the folly of endowing religious authorities with unlimited power. I reckon that is a lesson still to be learned by some in the United Arab Emirates - not to mention Iran! But then I remind myself that according to the Islamic calendar we are only in the year 1419 when Medieval Europe was still firmly ensconced in the fratricidal Hundred Years War. I will pray for a Renaissance to reinvigorate the true spirit of Islam and make the Muslim world bloom again in learning and in culture as it did once so beautifully in Baghdad and Cordoba long ago.


      Richard Geib

At 04:03 PM 5/16/98 +0400, you wrote:

Dear Mr. Richard,

No hard feelings. But Salman Rushdie has not merely written a book, do you think insulting someone very dear to you or someone sacred to more than 3 billion people on this planet and writing insulting stories about it is such an ordinary thing??????

Well Mr. Richard, I agree when you say that muslims have lost the true spirit of Islam. I see that you have knowledge on history of Islam as well. You are absolutely corect. No doubt about it.

But yo seem to be an intelligent person. I went thru your web-site. (Good Work). Why do you think Salman Rushdie is innocent??? Please tell me. I must know what you guys think.

Lastly, whatever I am saying is in good intention. No hard feelings.

Bye for now Richard.



      Dear Wajahat,

      Living in a country as loud and contentious as the United States, hardly a week goes by that someone doesn't make a statement or write an article or book which offends me nearly to the core. There are artists here who live to take pleasure in shocking the established beliefs of society in a blatant and obscene manner which makes Rushdie pale in comparison. The momentary anger does rise in me to hear their inflammatory words and aggressive messages, but then it passes and I recognize that this person has said something rather ridiculous which does not warrant serious consideration. And in a day or two I reflect how, even when it is uncomfortable and hugely irritating, it is such a joy to live in free wheeling culture where one will find all the good, bad, and ugly speech brought forth into the marketplace of ideas by a humanity which is fractious by nature. The anger passes, and I am hardly persuaded to any points of view which are merely mindless or "blasphemous". The correct response to "bad" ideas, in my humble opinion, should be not laws nor punishments nor threats nor violence but merely better ideas and better thinking. That is the curative balm which surely, in the long-term, does soothe the scrapes and bruises that differences of opinion - being natural among people - suffers to all of us.

      At any rate, Wajahat, I hope this e-mail finds you well.

      Very Truly Yours,


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