Novelist Salman Rushdie has been living under Muslim death threats for almost a quarter century. But when you’re a jihadist, it’s good to have options, so the targeted-for-execution list has been steadily growing. The Al Qaeda recruitment magazine Inspire just published the names of its eleven most-wanted:
• Geert Wilders
• Ayaan Hirsi-Ali
• Kurt Westergaard
• Flemming Rose
• Carsten Juste
• Morris Sadek
• Lars Vilks
• Molly Norris
• Stephane Charbonnier
• Terry Jones
• Salman Rushdie
If not all of the names mean something to you, here are ultrabrief descriptions of what these people have done that Islamic fundies deem punishable by death. For the record, this blog supports each and every one of those listed — yes, even that detestable halfwit Terry Jones.
What’s astonishing about the current list is that none of the eleven people on it have ever committed violence. Their so-called crimes consist entirely of having produced words or pictures. Fully nine of the eleven targets are journalists, writers, and artists. None are Western heads of state, or military officials, or Marine snipers, or drone operators, or CIA operatives, or anyone else who’s ever ordered (or has otherwise had a direct hand in) actual bloodshed.
Published under the heading, “Wanted: Dead Or Alive for Crimes Against Islam,” [Inspire] magazine includes the [eleven] people they’ve targeted as their biggest enemies. In case you’re not clear on what they want, exactly, the list also includes an image of one of the wanted, Koran-hating pastor Terry Jones, being shot in the head. Beneath that is the caption, “Yes We Can: A Bullet A Day Keeps the Infidel Away.”
Lest anyone thinks that jihadists’ calls for targeted murder are all Muslim machismo and no action, let’s think back to some actual and attempted assassinations. Here are just the ones that I remember, so it’s not even a complete list:
• 1991: Ettore Capriolo, Italy. Translator of Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. Stabbed multiple times. Badly wounded.
• 1991: Hitoshi Igarashi, Japan. Translator of Rushdie’s book. Stabbed, murdered.
• 1993: William Nygaard, Norway. Publisher of the Norwegian edition of Rushdie’s book. Shot, wounded.
• 2004: Theo van Gogh, the Netherlands. Critic of radical Islam. Writer, filmmaker. Shot, stabbed, and slashed to death.
• 2008: Martin Rynja, England. Publisher of a novel about Mohammed. House and office firebombed. Rynja escaped unscathed.
• 2010: Kurt Westergaard, Denmark. Cartoonist. Home invasion by an assailant wielding an axe and a knife. Westergaard fled into his reinforced panic room. No injuries.
• 2013: Lars Hedegaard, Denmark. Critic of radical Islam. Writer and publisher. Assailant unsuccessfully fired a gun at him in his doorway.
It’s doubly sad that it takes very little to set these fundies off. For every act of willful desecration, such as Terry Jones’s Koran-burning shenanigans, there are multiple instances of comparatively mild-mannered protests, such as Molly Norris‘s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, or Kurt Westergaard’s fairly plain-vanilla cartoon (below) of Islam’s warrior-prophet. No matter: they, too, draw fatwas marking them for death.
Much as I’d love to try, there’s simply no reasoning with the religiously insane.