In a statement, published on the website for English PEN, an organization that promotes freedom of speech, Salman Rushdie not only condemns the shooting, but religion as a whole.
“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms,” he wrote. “This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.”
Rushdie expresses his support for the publication and calls for the defense 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.”