A Fresh Look At An Issue That Will Not and Should Not Be Forgotten
This morning, we received an email that immediately caught our attention. It did not take long to decide to publish the contents of the email, which came under the subject "Remember Hitoshi Igarashi."
It concerns the brutal murder of the Japanese translator of the Salman Rushdie book, Satanic Verses. At the time of the novel's publication in the late 1980s, the most evil man alive, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, had issued death fatwas on Rushdie and all who helped in the publication of his novel. This was not merely a declared war on specific persons, but it was declared war from Islam on one of the most important of the fundamental freedoms and rights, known in America as the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Note the contrast with the kerfuffle about Da Vinci Code. A number of people, and not all Christians, just hate this book and rail at it. Some places have attempted to ban the book and the movie, which, of course, has created huge demand to read the novel and see the movie. BUT THERE ARE NO FATWAS AND NO CREDIBLE DEATH THREATS, unlike what happened to Salman Rushdie and his translator.
When the Rushdie affair broke into news, Bush's father was President. If, as leader of the nation built on the Rights of Man, he recognized that any more than somebody being pissed off at somebody else in some foreign country, he never let on. Never once did he rise in defense of one of most vital of freedoms, by right.
Islam showed its ugly face and uglier soul over the Rushdie affair, and we should have caught on fully about Islam right then and there, particularly after all that had gone on in the 1970s and 1980s. We certainly got the Rushdie significance, but it took a much bigger wakeup call to grasp the evil of Islam--that came later. Meanwhile, Hitoshi Igarashi was treated to the full meaning of Islam. To follow is his story which we received this morning:
Unlike some other people I do remember that although Salman Rushdie himself was not killed because of the fatwa against him by the despicable Khomeini, several translators of his book "Satanic Verses" were attacked and the Japanese translator of the book was killed.
Until recently I did not know the exact date he was slaughtered or even his name.
He was murdered on July 11. I would like to make July 11 a day for worldwide vigilance towards the threat of islamofascism. This year it will be 15 years ago that this peaceful Islamic scholar was brutally murdered. So 2006 is a good year to start with this day.
Mr Igashari was not an average victim of the islamofascists.The reason why I looked for Mr. Igarashi's name in the first place was in relation with the Danish cartoons. Via Yahoo I found this quote:
"In Beirut, the leader of Lebanon's Shiite Hizbollah said the row would never had occurred if a 17-year-old death edict against British writer Salman Rushdie been carried out."
An outrageous statement indeed but it was not the quote itself but what the news source added that appalled me most:
"Rushdie went into hiding and was never attacked."
The extremes of this wishful thinking approach continue to amaze me. He was never attacked?. He lived in hiding for many years, even Muslims suggesting to raise the fatwa have been beaten up and lost their jobs and last year the Iran islamofascists declared the death sentence on British author Salman Rushdie is still valid - 16 years after it was issued.
The military organisation, loyal to Iran 's supreme leader, said the order was "irrevocable", on the eve of the anniversary of the 1989 fatwa. The order was issued after publication of Mr. Rushdie's novel "The Satanic Verses," condemned as blasphemous.
Iran 's reformist government has in the past distanced itself from the fatwa.
Without thinking much about the subject, I somehow supposed that Mr. Igarashi was "just" a translator not objecting to translate this specific book. If Mr. Igarashi had been an average guy not thinking too much about the sensibilities of the islamofascists, the murder would have been disgusting too. But reading a little on the background of Mr. Igarashi, the story is so much sadder and more instructive.
According to this source (http://www.raglanroad.org/weblog/archives/000698.html), he opposed absolute freedom of speech and even somehow justified the fact that Khomeini came up with this act of spreading international terrorism:
"Hitoshi Igarashi was stabbed in the face and arms until he died on Tsukuba University 's campus in Ibaraki on July 11 1991. Igarashi, 44, the translator of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, is believed to have been murdered by an Iranian Shia muslim carrying out the fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Igarashi, known to be one of Japan's leading young Islamic scholars, a man who had lived in Iran, decided to translate Satanic Verses to act as a mediator between Khomeini (and the Muslim world) and Rushdie.
Igarashi's position was that both sides were right: Khomeini was justified in issuing the fatwa on Rushdie by virtue of his position in the Muslim clerical hierarchy; Rushdie, he argued, could be located in the lineage of mystical Sufi thought, and seen as not anti-Islamic but rather, as an Indian moved to England, more like a writer of the literature of exile, and thus not unlike Muhammad.
Igarashi's translation was not an attempt to force the Muslim world to accept the Western value of freedom of expression in an absolute form. It was a third-party effort to show common, middle ground, in order to end the conflict."
For his search for common ground, a kind of search that is suggested almost everyday now in media and politics in the Netherlands and other western countries as the right approach towards islamofascism, he paid with his life.
We certainly do not support Mr. Igarashi's opposition to "absolute free speech" or his justification of any evil Khomeini did, if this is true, as purported. The translator, despite being an Islamic scholar, seems to have failed to grasp the true nature of Islam, if his efforts, as purported, were to seek compromise with mind and body killers of Islam and a writer publishing a work of fiction. If this is true, the translator lived out the meaning of compromising on fundamental principles--it cannot be done.
Nevertheless, the meaning of Hitoshi Igarashi's death must not be forgotten any more than forcing the novelist into protective custody to prevent his assassination. In the history of mankind, far too many men have been at war with the mind, the Rights of Man, and necessary freedoms coming from his nature as human. In the 14 centuries of Islam, human destruction arising from hatred of the mind, of reason, of freedom, of choice have never been modified. This is why Islam, which has never been moderated, must be taken at face value and so crippled that it is pushed back into the sands and held there forever by the advocates of freedom.