Author Salman Rushdie–against whom Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death fatwa in 1989 because of his book “The Satanic Verses”–says that it is a miskake for President Barack Obama not to use the term “Islamic terrorism.”
“It’s a mistake that the president is making to not use the term Islamic terrorism,” Rushdie said Wednesday during a question-and-answer session hosted by New York University’s Washington, D.C. Academic Center.
Rushdie was responding to a question from an audience member on whether he had changed his views since he had written a 2001 New York Times opinion piece entitled Yes, This Is About Islam.
“The answer is, no, they haven’t changed,” Rushdie said. “And I think, actually think it’s a mistake that the president is making to not use the term Islamic terrorism.”
“Because, of course, it’s not what a majority of Muslims would think or want,” Rushdie explained. “Of course, it’s a freakish manifestation that has grown up inside Islam. But to say that it’s not about Islam denies what the killers themselves always say.”
“You know, if you have a group of murderers who say–all of them–that they do it in the name of a particular prophet and a particular ideology, to say it’s not about that is just self-evidently evading the truth,” Rushdie said.
“The question is what has happened inside Islam that allowed this manifestation to grow up inside it,” he said. “And it’s quite clear to me that the people who suffer most from Islamic terrorism are other Muslims.”