Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Salman Rushdie And Ahmad Mansour Have Parallel Difficulties With Certain Authorities.

By Sodium

As the news has spread around the globe about the arrest, at Berlin airport, of Ahmad Mansour, an anchorman with Al-Jazeera's Arabic Network, one may be compelled to remember a parallel case, but much more dangerous, that had taken place in the late 1980's to a British novelist / writer named Salman Rushdie. The cases of the two men will be briefly outlined below:

Salman Rushdie:
He is a British-Indian novelist and essayist who, in 1988, had written a novel entitled " Satanic Verses " in which he described specific verses, in the Holy Qur'an, as satanic. As such description had hit the ears of Iran's spiritual supreme leader who was then Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an Islamic Fatwa ( Islamic Edict) had immediately issued by Khomeini to kill or assassinate Rushdie who, at once, had gone into hiding. He remained in hiding for many years, even after the death of Khomeini. However, in 2008, Queen Elizabeth has knighted him as " Sir " for his literary work and contribution to literature. He is now Sir Salman Rushdie. What a difference: from a fugitive in hiding to a British gentleman with a royal granted title.

Ahmad Mansour:
An Egyptian journalist who has been hired by Al-Jazeera Network, as an anchorman to anchor two of its Arabic language programs, namely: (1) Bila Huddoud, and (2) Shahidon Ala Al-Asr. Both programs are informative, indeed. He has been outspoken against the way President Abdel Fatah El-Seesi has taken over Egypt by military coup first and then by election that excluded all groups that considered hostile to his military move against the Moslem Brotherhood's government of  President Muhammad Mursi who was truly elected by popular vote in general election in 2012.

Lately, Ahmad Mansour had to travel to Germany for interviewing a German personality who spoke fluent Arabic. I watched the interview on the Arabic program, Bila Hudoud, which anchored by Mansour, somewhere from Germany. It was an excellent program in which Germany 's relations with the Palestinians, Israel and Egypt, as well as its relationship with the United States were openly discussed. I must say that the questions raised by Mansour were thoughtful and should be raised in the open, if not for maintaining a degree of objectivity, then for a degree of honesty.

In his return to his working base in Doha, Qatar, and as he was still in Berlin airport, he was arrested by German police and was taken into custody for interrogations. He was accused of serious criminal charges like theft and sexual rape etc.... The accusations were received by Germany directly from Egypt. In other words, the instigation for his arrest came directly from Egypt, and the German authorities acted accordingly. He spent several nights in custody until the Attorney General of Germany reviewed the case and immediately had ordered dismissal of the case for arresting him and hence Mansour was freed from police custody.

Question: What is the point in composing all of the foregoing, some of which are known information ?

Answer: The point behind composing all of the above is to show the parallel between Sir Salman Rushdie's case and Anchorman Ahmad Mansour 's case. Please note that I say Parallel, not similar, and let alone identical:

Salman Rushdie:
~ He was known only among British and some other Western novelists, essayists and writers.
~ After Khomeini's Fatwa, Rushdie s ' name had become so well known across the globe, just like a household name.
~ The sale of his novel, " Satanic Verses " had exponentially increased. Most likely, Rushdie himself could not possibly imagine the exponential increase in sales of his novel, not even in his wildest dreams or imaginations.
~ At the top of all that he was finally granted, in 2008,  the honorary and royal title of " Sir " for his contributions to the British literature.

Ahmad Mansour:
~ He has been well known, by the millions who watch Al-Jazeera Arabic networks, but he has never been equally known outside the Arab World.
~ After his arrest, at Berlin airport, and ultimately freed by Germany's Attorney General, his name has spread like an uncontrollable wild fire across the globe. And his name has become a household name, not exactly similar, but, some how, parallel to Rushdie's.
~ Perhaps, one day, the Emir of Qatar, may decide to bestow upon him the honorary title of Shiekh, Therefore, he becomes " Shiekh " Ahmad Mansour, to perfect the parallel with " Sir " Salman Rushdie.

Final Words:
There is a lesson, or rather a wisdom, to be learned from both cases.. Never make waves on the issues that you know very well they have enemies waiting like vultures to eat you up, not dead, but alive, if they can get away with it.

Both Khomeini Iran, El-Sisi Egypt had tried to dictate their own rules but failed completely, and Egypt victimized Germany in the process.


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