Satanic Verses never ceases to amaze me what the motivation beyond such a specimen of writing might have been, particularly in light to Rushdie’s immense knowledge of Islam and that of acute Muslim sensitivities towards their beloved faith and prophet. Having been well aware of the response of such work would generate, nevertheless still taking upon himself in executed its publication with all the clear signs of an immense repercussion. This has left many Muslims the world over with scepticism towards Rushdie’s motives in writing such a piece of work, having even been looked upon as an attempt in rewriting Islamic history from that of secular perspective as claimed in Rushdie’s earlier interviews, though many have seen it as no more than a malicious ploy to hurt the feelings of Muslims as a means of appeasing the west, and inciting them to violence and desperation7.
Leaving many Muslims sceptical and in desperate need for answers to even plunder the realms of the conspiratorial particularly after all the global publicity the book received and appraise by many an academic whether for it being a literary work of par excellence or plainly an attack on Islam. Some even remarked upon it being a virgin field never ploughed before8 and accredited Rushdie with many an accruement appraising him, taking into account even western orientalist’s and their medieval predecessor whom both fervently sought to disparage Islam by attributing to it a fantastic, disrespectful or demonic sexuality had in all fairness for whatever reasons managed to stop in rhetorical terms in use of explicit obscenity of the graphic nature when referring to the prophet Muhammad.
Unlike the orientalists Rushdie in his probable pursuit for some sort of deluded self enlightenment has thought that by writing such an obscure piece of work he could possibly change the Islamic world and guide these poor deluded lost souls away from a life of misery, homogeneity, and dictated oppression, all to often being accruements fixated in the western mindset when engaging with Islam.
Though unfortunately not realising Muslims have retained their faith in the face of many an external force through sheer love, devotion, and equitable trust in their scriptures. Nevertheless ignoring this Rushdie takes it upon himself as a moral crusade of some sort, obviously designed to disparage Islam and for doing so is accredited by his western appraisers, seen by many in the western world as a one man crusade in breaking long constructed taboo’s and in doing so takes this genre to a point of mass expansion to a summit where it by the skin of its teeth barely manages to explode into utter kayos.
If anything Rushdie and the west can be accredited with further alienating Muslims and making sure their even more distrustful of western intentions, particularly in light of the media frenzy that followed the Rushdie fiasco resulting in most western dignitaries, academics and intellectuals alike jumping on the anti Islamic bandwagon only helping further enforce astringent ideologically of the east notably that of Iran and its hard-line clerics who used this incident very well to further fuel their anti-American propaganda and went a step further in issuing a religious Fatwa (death sentence) to Salman Rushdie. Resulting in the formation of two camps the Islamite’s on one side and progressive western thinkers on another with their deep-rooted beliefs of individual liberty and secularism.
The satanic verses miserably fails in raising any real issues of any distinctly Islamic identity in the contemporary world of varied voices and irreligious confides, parallel to that of what has been done in the western context in light of self enlightenment and establishing the sanctity of god-within. Most Muslims haven’t developed such notions that parallel the puritan notion of the bible-within9, and the Satanic Verses has not established a better understanding or any real sense of Muslim enlightenment, thus being equivable to any real and promising Muslim response to modernity, thus such an agenda can only be set by Muslim intellectuals who are believers and who themselves are disturbed by the widespread and apparently awkward worldly reservations about religious imagination in an age of reason10.