Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rushdie Condems Censorship, Tries to Quash Former Bodyguard's Book

Sir Salman Rushdie has weighed in on the "Jewel of Medina" scandal, noted below, telling the Associated Press “I am very disappointed to hear that my publishers, Random House, have canceled another author's novel, apparently because of their concerns about possible Islamic reprisals,” Rushdie said. “This is censorship by fear and it sets a very bad precedent indeed.”

Labeling it "censorship" is overstating it -- Random House is a private company after all -- but Rushdie has more or less earned the right to say what he wants on the topic.

Of course, this doesn't mean that Rushdie isn't above trying to get another book canceled: "On Her Majesty's Service," the one co-written his former bodyguard, Ron Evans, that depicts Rushdie -- in his own words -- "mean, nasty, tightfisted, arrogant and extremely unpleasant."

Rushdie has threatened to sue if the book goes to press.

Though the book was due to be published last week, as of this writing, it is still listed as available for pre-order on Waterstones' web site.

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