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Latest Ruhollah Khomeini Items
Early in the 16th century, as the Ottoman and Safavid empires fought for control of the Middle East, Selim the Grim, ruling from Istanbul, indulged his artistic side by composing distinguished poetry in Persian, then the Middle East's language of high culture. Simultaneously, Ismail I, ruling from Esfahan, wrote poetry in Turkish, his ancestral language.
Pastor Terry Jones' plan to burn copies of the Koran at his church in Gainesville, Fla., let it be emphasized, is a distasteful act that fits an ugly tradition. That said, two other points need be noted: Buying books and then burning them is a legal act in the United States. Second, David H. Petraeus, Robert M. Gates, Eric H. Holder Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama pressured Mr. Jones to cancel only because they feared Muslim violence against Americans if he proceeded. Indeed, despite Mr. Jones' calling off the Koran burning, five Afghans and three Kashmiris died in protests against his plans.
A year or so after the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took out an Islamist mob contract on Salman Rushdie, the novelist appeared, after elaborate security arrangements, on a television arts show in London. His host was Melvyn Bragg, a long-time British telly grandee, and it was striking how quickly the interview settled down into the usual cosy lit.crit. chit-chat. Lord Bragg took Mr. Rushdie back to his earlier pre-fatwa work. "After your first book," drawled Mr. Bragg, "which was not particularly well-received."