Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The world according to Hitch has a lot of interesting snippets. What caught my eye:

Feb. 14, 1989, as Mr. Hitchens describes it, was a day that changed his life and moved him further from the leftist camp. That was the day Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran issued his now infamous fatwa against Mr. Rushdie for his depiction of Muhammad in his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses. The ayatollah's edict included a $3 million bounty and ordered Mr. Rushdie's execution. It was only partially rescinded in 1998.

"It wouldn't have made any difference if he wasn't a friend, because here is the religious dictator of a foreign state offering money in his own name for the murder of a writer of fiction, who is not even an Iranian living in exile. This is the most frontal assault on all the values of free expression that make my life possible and my living possible."

Mr. Rushdie spent nearly a decade in hiding, and spent part of that time living with Mr. Hitchens in his Washington apartment. The author and his round-the-clock armed security holed up with Mr. Hitchens, his wife, and a new baby until New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd "annoyingly published" Mr. Rushdie's location, and he again had to take flight.

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