Recently sitting together with my closest friends - a writer who, as told twice before, would not write for reasons I shall probably never understand - murmered: "Can't understand why Rushdie should be honoured with knighthood."
He got up, grasped the "Satanic Verses" from one of his shelves where the book stood side by side with the Bible and the Koran.
Noticing my brows producing a questionmark, he smilingly said: "My personal little comment."
And seriously he went on: "Unlike the majority of those who are burning flags, I did read it. Not very impressive. Certainly it would not have reached such a circulation without this enormous helpful sales campaign started in Iran."
"Hm, and why do you think, Rushdie will be given the knighthood?" I asked.
"Either a most influental advisor is owner of a big factory producing flags to supply the demand in certain countries, or they want to provoke those a little who have nothing better to do than proving an old Chines saying."
"What Chinese saying?" I asked.
"Those feeling insulted by someone else, confess to their intellectual inferiority."
When reading this article in the Turkish newspaper Zaman, I started to understand my friend who that evening had also recited Heinrich Heine: Where they burn books, they will end in burning human beings.
"While we are at it, guess in what context Heine wrote this."
"1821, in Almansor. It plays at the time of Inquisition in Spain, and the sentence is referring to the burning of the Koran. - You see, peace loving Christians can be as idiotic as Muslims.
"And I do start to have an uneasy sense of why you refuse to write."
Back to this guest-article. There is not much left to comment after what my closest friend somehow seems to have anticipated.
So I shall restrict to just two remarks according a certain diction.
The writer uses the word inhuman. Would he ever call something or someone inanimal?
I thought the writer believes in his God. Thus, I was surprised to read: "I believe Muslim peer Lord Ahmed's declaration is the voice of all Muslims around the word."
I do hope the poor man will not be prosecuted for his belief.
For the rest, reading what the other day I wrote about Subverting Language will do.
And tomorrow I think (sic) I shall write a little about stupidity and megalomania .
The Peace of the Night!