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On the Muslim Question$
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Anne Norton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157047

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157047.001.0001

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Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

(p.15) Chapter 1 Freedom of Speech
On the Muslim Question

Anne Norton

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the Muslim question has been linked to the question of freedom of speech. A clash of civilizations that saw the West as the realm of enlightenment, and Muslims in the realm of religion, custom, and tradition, has long been part of spectacles in the Western public sphere. Ayatollah Khomeini gave new life to these civilizational theatrics when he issued a fatwa calling for the assassination of Salman Rushdie, whose The Satanic Verses became the center of a controversy that cast freedom of speech as a Muslim question. However, the martyr to free speech was not Rushdie but Theo van Gogh, the murdered producer of the film Submission. The chapter shows how the dramas surrounding Rushdie, van Gogh, the Danish cartoons and the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's copycat cartoon provocations mark Muslims as the enemies of free speech.

Keywords:   freedom of speech, Muslim question, Muslims, Ayatollah Khomeini, Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, Theo van Gogh, Submission, Danish cartoons, Charlie Hebdo

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