La’Porte, Victoria Books
About the author: Dr. La’Porte received her PhD from Exeter University. She teaches Christianity, Islam and World Religions at Brunel University in London. Her book Engaging with Theology will be published by Edinburgh University Press.1999 0-7734-8031-5
This volume deals with all the major issues surrounding The Satanic Verses controversy. It explores Muslim reasons for wanting the novel banned and places their arguments in context with the history of the West and the Islamic world. It shows how Muslim hurt and anger toward the publication cannot by reduced solely to sociological or anthropological factors, but rather locates the reason for offence in the manner Rushdie chose in writing the novel. The book also seeks to illuminate how liberal reaction widened the gap between the author and the Muslim community in Britain. A large section of the book challenges the liberal arguments against censorship. It reveals the mistake liberals make in imposing their own belief system on the Muslim community. It explores the reaction from Christian circles, focusing explicitly on the Church of England. Finally, the study examines all the issues surrounding Law. It shows how the fatwa issued by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, though religiously motivated, is contrary to the law and spirit of Islam and must be condemned. It provides a unique discussion of the blasphemy law in relation to The Satanic Verses.