Rushdie, Other Writers Issue Joint Statement Against "Religious Totalitarianism"

March 1, 2006

Source: BBC News

On March 1, 2006 BBC News reported, "Salman Rushdie is among a dozen writers to have put their names to a statement in a French weekly paper warning against Islamic 'totalitarianism'. The writers say the violence sparked by the publication of cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad shows the need to fight for secular values and freedom. The statement is published in Charlie Hebdo, one of several European papers to reprint the caricatures... Almost all of those who have signed the statement have experienced difficulties with Islamic militancy first-hand, says the BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Paris. They include Dutch MP and filmmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali and exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen. 'After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global threat: Islamism,' the manifesto says. 'We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.' The clashes over the cartoons 'revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values,' the statement continues."