Thursday, 21 May 2009

Kenan Malik speaks to Leeds Salon

Leeds Salon is a new public debating forum which aims to promote lively and open debate around contemporary political, social, cultural and scientific issues.

From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy
Kenan Malik will present and debate his new book From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy, Borders book shop, 94-96 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NP, Thursday 4 June 2009, 6:00pm (for a 6:15 start) - 8.00 pm.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Rushdie fatwa, "From Fatwa to Jihad" tells, for the first time, the full story of this defining episode and explores its repercussions and resonance through to contemporary debates about Islam, terror, free speech and Western values. When a thousand Muslim protesters paraded through a British town with a copy of Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" before ceremoniously burning the book it was an act motivated by anger and offence as well as one calculated to shock and offend. It did more than that: the image of the burning book became an icon of the Muslim anger. Sent around the world by photographers and TV cameras, the image announced a new world.

Twenty years later, the questions raised by the Rushdie Affair - Islam's relationship to the West, the meaning of multiculturalism, the limits of tolerance in a liberal society - have become some of the defining issues of our time. Taking the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa as his starting point, Kenan Malik examines how radical Islam has gained hold in Muslim communities, how multiculturalism contributed to this, and how the Rushdie affair transformed the very nature of the debate on tolerance and free speech.

About the Author
Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, regular panellist on Radio 4’s Moral Maze and author of Meaning of Race (1996); Man Beast and Zombie (2000): What science can and cannot tell us about human nature; and Strange Fruit: Why both sides are wrong in the race debate (2008). He’s also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Surry. His website is

Book reviews and related articles:
After the Fatwa, the Free Speech Wars, Kenan Malik, spiked review of books, April 2009
Britain Since the Fatwa, Faisal Gazi, Guardian, 14 April 2009
Lisa Appignanesi, Independent, 10 April 2009
Marcus Dubois,, 9 April 2009
Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times, 5 April 2009
Why the Fatwa is Still a Burning Issue, Robert McCrum, Observer, 5 April 2009
Stuart Kelly, Scotsman, 5 April 2009
Lindsay Jones, New Humanist, March-April 2009

Coming up at Leeds Salon on Monday 6 July 2009:
James Woudhuysen, visiting professor of Broadcasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, writer and journalist will be discussing Energise: A Future For Energy Innovation by James Woudhuysen & Joe Kaplinsky (Beautiful Books, 2009). Fuller details will be announced shortly.

This is event is free. To let us know you’re coming please reply to this e-mail. Visit our website and join our mailing list at:

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