Salman Rushdie, a man who refused the roles assigned to him

In an episode of the series Curb Your Enthusiasm, in 2017, comedian Larry David describes his new idea for a show on an American talk show: he will create Fatwa !, the Salman Rushdie affair told in a musical. An Iranian ayatollah takes umbrage and declares a fatwa to call for the death of Larry David. The comedian loses all his support, he has to wear a disguise to go out in the street, and he recruits an aggressive and excessively paranoid bodyguard who, moreover, has extravagant wishes in terms of gastronomy and bedding.

Exasperated, Larry David solicits and obtains an appointment with Salman Rushdie: the series accomplishes a tour de force because the one who receives the humorist is none other than the writer in person. Salman Rushdie makes Larry David sit down, reproaches him for his apprehensions and entrusts him with a detail that everyone ignores about the fatwas: sex.

“A lot of women are attracted to men who are in this situation, explains Rushdie. The fatwa wraps us in sexy pixie dust, but stop being a wimp. Behave like a man and fatwa sex will follow.” A producer of the series said that the idea of ​​the “figurine powder” belonged entirely to Rushdie.

Unexpectedly, what is amusing about this performance (among many other things including Rushdie’s acting skills) is that Rushdie deliberately demolishes his supposed status as a priestly symbol. The fatwa makes a person a demon or an angel. In this case, Rushdie is neither; he refuses the two roles assigned to him several decades ago.

Cowardice and cynicism

Because since a fatwa was launched against Rushdie in 1989, he has been designated a divisive personality, against his will, in a number of false geopolitical and cultural conflicts. A crisis is built and is not spontaneous, just as there is no born leader. And the moment when appeared The satanic verses frayed an inst world

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The Guardian (London)

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