December 14, 1991
The most poignant commemoration of the First Amendment this week came from a man not covered by it. As though popping out of a cake, Salman Rushdie appeared on a heavily guarded stage at Columbia University in New York to say that "Free speech is life itself."He should know. Since his novel, "The Satanic Verses," was seen to blaspheme Islam, Mr. Rushdie has been under sentence of death. In 1989, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual ruler of Iran, instructed the faithful to murder him. He lives in secret protective custody, his private life destroyed, at great expense to British taxpayers.
September 28, 1990
LONDON -- Author Salman Rushdie, in his first television interview since going into hiding 18 months ago, says he is sorry for any hurt his novel "The Satanic Verses" may have caused."
June 23, 1996
"Wild Swans" by Jung Chang is a true story about three generations of Chinese women and "A Mother's Ordeal," by Stephen Moser. It's also a true story about a Chinese woman and the country's one-child-per-family-policy. They're excellent books. We're adopting a baby from China and these are great for anyone who's interested in what it's like to be a woman there.- Kelly StrzeleckiSalman Rushdie's "Imaginary Homelands." I want to read his "Satanic Verses" but I need to get used to his style before I jump into that.
July 7, 1995
Bert Hardy, 82, whose photographs of war and life in Britain in the 1940s and 1950s became black-and-white classics of photojournalism, died Monday of a heart attack in London, where he had photographed the Blitz, including life in the underground air raid shelters. He also covered the D-Day Allied landings in France, the liberation of Paris, the crossing of the Rhine and the Korean War.Samuel K. Hoffman, i93, an engineer who directed development of liquid-fuel rocket engines that launched the nation's first satellite and moon-bound Apollo spacecraft, died June 26 in Santa Barbara, Calif.
August 7, 1994
In 1985, the Iran-contra affair began with arms shipments to Iran in exchange for release an American hostage in Lebanon. The Reagan administration's National Security Council convinced itself that surreptitious dealing would strengthen the "moderates" in Tehran against the extremists.Nine years later, Iran stands informally accused by Israeli and American officials of sponsoring new outbreaks of terrorism, notably bombings against Jewish targets in Argentina and Britain. Iranian influence in Hezbollah in Lebanon is still great.
January 22, 1995
Norway deserves the support of all nations in its quarrel with Iran, which concerns the right of Iranian authorities to order the murder of someone in Norway or anywhere outside Iran.Iran has no such right. For it to act as if it did violates international law, Norwegian sovereignty, common decency and respect for humanity. Politics is no excuse. Neither is religious devotion.The incident flows from the fatwa, or decree, by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of Iran, in 1989, calling on believers to kill the Indian-born British writer, Salman Rushdie, for blasphemy in his novel, "The Satanic Verses."
July 30, 1999
MASTER Li Hongzhi teaches how to channel energies. From New York, the leader of the banned meditation and exercise movement, Falun Gong, channels his own energies on the Internet.In their panic at the success inside China of this outlawed body of traditional teaching culled from China's ancient qigong exercises and meditation, the Communist rulers of China have gone bananas.Their draconian crackdown puts to the test the supreme question of the Internet age: whether it is possible to ban any idea, teaching or popular culture when computers and access to the Internet are prevalent -- as they must be in an economy as modern as Beijing wants China's to become.
August 2, 1991
The incitation to murder by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (reiterated by his successor as spiritual leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) continues to violate the sovereignty of other countries. Not only did they command, on religious principles, the murder of the Indian-born British Muslim apostate author, Salman Rushdie, but also of anyone responsible for publication of his novel, "The Satanic Verses," in 1989.Mr. Rushdie is still in hiding, not trusting to his public reaffirmation of faith in Islam for protection.
October 14, 1990
The Swedish Academy might have made a bold political statement in awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature this year.It could have honored any of several South African writers who witnessed the wounds of apartheid and anticipated this year of change in their country. It might have acknowledged the role in saving the human spirit played by writers in Czechoslovakia and East Germany and even Russia. It might have stood up for the freedom to think and write everywhere in the world by championing the still-young Indo-British novelist, Salman Rushdie, who lives in secrecy because of his death sentence by a dead religious leader of Iran which no one there has dared to rescind.
October 9, 1995
In awarding the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature to Seamus Heaney, the Swedish Academy acknowledged the importance of Ireland to English letters, but struck a blow for poetry.It is a small island of some 5 million souls, but this is Ireland's third Nobel Prize for Literature after the poet-playwright William Butler Yeats (1923) and the playwright Samuel Beckett (1969), the fourth if the playwright-essayist George Bernard Shaw (1925) is credited to the country of his birth. Ireland's contribution of talent that glorified the English more than the Irish language for centuries is immense.