ATTACK ON KZN AUTHOR UNACCEPTABLE

2015-03-23 04:56

The heinous and violent attack on a defenceless woman and author Zainub Priya Dala, a guest novelist at the annual Time of the Writer festival, must be strongly condemned. (Author ZP Dala attacked in Durban, News24, March 21).

Dala’s love for Salman Rushdie’s literary style, a highly controversial, shunned and ostracised author in the Muslim world due to his derogatory and nonsensical book Satanic Verses, should not make her a target for physical revenge.

Muslims consider Rushdie’s novel published in 1988, The Satanic Verses, as a blasphemous and abominable book.

The book is not only blasphemous to the Prophet of Islam but it also contains serious and gross mistakes and misinformation about Islam. Rushdie has no basis to prove his statements made in his book against Islam.

So, although Dala’s love is more, possibly, for his literary style than content, she should know making such religious-sensitive statements won’t go unquestioned or lead to scholarly discussions or debates.

Concerning Dala’s sad and aggressive incident I irrevocably reiterate my condemnation and displeasure of all forms of violence regardless of its aims, objectives or the purposes for which it is carried out.

Resorting to abuse and violently targeting human life for a difference of opinion is truly unacceptable.

Open dialogue, plurality and diversity of perspectives and critical independent thinking are important, healthy tools for students and communities to learn, unlearn and relearn in order to peacefully coexist in these constantly changing social milieu.

Among the various characteristics of a Democratic Constitution is the freedom one has to express oneself constructively and what better way to express this than through the ideas, opinions, comments and suggestions from the ink of the writer’s pen.

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