The Song Remains the Same

“I recall the day, shortly after the French presidential election in 2017, that Emmanuel Macron invited Salman and me for coffee at the Élysée Palace in Paris. He was astonished that Salman had so little protection. ‘I’m not the martyr type,’ Salman joked. ‘Im just a writer. Why would anyone hold such a big grudge against a writer?'” It’s a good question and one we’ve been asking forever. But as Rushdie’s friend Bernard-Henri Lévy writes, Rushdie “was wrong. This kind of killer never lets up. You can despise them, you can push them out of your mind—the bounty hunters and lunatics that history sets on your tracks—but the pack never forgets about you.” And thus, the fight for freedom of expression—and the broader fight between sanity and extremism—goes on. Maybe Rushdie should have titled his book The Satanic Chorus, because the story of meeting ideas with violence keeps repeating itself over and over. The Atlantic: The attack was an outrage not only against a great and brave author but against truth and beauty themselves. It must have a ringing response.

+ Things are more connected than you think. In Texas, “ahead of the first day of school, the Keller Independent School District is removing all books that were challenged last year within the school district, including the Bible, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s The Diary of Young Girl.”

+ “The case also marks the latest example of how the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has targeted Twitter users in his campaign of repression, while simultaneously controlling a major indirect stake in the US social media company through Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund.” The Guardian: A Saudi student at Leeds University who had returned home to the kingdom for a holiday has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for having a Twitter account and for following and retweeting dissidents and activists.

Copied to Clipboard