Friday, October 01, 2004

Yusuf Islam and the Rushdie fatwa

Islam’s denial – in today’s Age, and on his official (?) website – of supporting the Rushdie fatwa in 1989 is false. There is documentary evidence of this as fact, referred to in this SMH Letter to the Editor by Laurie Strachan, and in this Wikipedia entry.

Accordingly, while Islam’s recent refusal of entry to the US was almost certainly a matter of mistaken identity (he has been admitted to the US several times since September 11), Islam would seem spectacularly ill-advised to be considering mounting a lawsuit over his deportation.

His 1989 incitement to murder Rushdie was not, for whatever reason, taken up by British authorities at the time. If Islam now goes into an American court as plaintiff, he risks finding himself in the dock instead, Oscar Wilde style – but this time, deservedly so.

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