Blasphemy has become the focus of attention, with ongoing turmoil in the Middle East sparked by a crude YouTube trailer for a possibly nonexistent movie mocking Islam.
Karl Marx once said that history repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as farce. The riots and Iranian fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie, which forced the British-Kashmiri author into hiding for 13 years, can only be described as tragic — for him and for the cause of freedom and tolerance.
Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple informed his congregation by letter this week that he was recently diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma; Anna Krakovich survived a suicide bomb attack to become a response team leader for SELAH; Salman Rushdie speaks out as pro-Israel Muslim; Israeli and American staff and campers at the Union for Reform Judaism's Camp Newman collaborated on recording a song titled "Kol Yisrael (We Are All Connected)."
Salmon Rushdie reflects on why apparently normal young men turn to terror, the dangers of religion and whether the United States has turned into an authoritarian state.
Salman Rushdie is at Disney Hall, addressing a near-capacity audience as part of the Music Center's 2006 Speaker Series. He has come this March 1 evening to talk about politics and art, truth and tyranny, free and forbidden speech. He has come, also, to promote his newest book.