- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 8, 2015

Author Salman Rushdie slammed “religious totalitarianism” that’s evident “in the heart of Islam” in a statement Thursday, pledging support for the Charlie Hebdo magazine following Wednesday’s deadly terror attack that killed 12 people in Paris.

“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms,” said Mr. Rushdie, who had a fatwa issued against him by Iran’s ayatollah in 1989 after he published his fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses.”

“This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today,” he said. “I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.

“‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion,’” he concluded. “Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”

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