14 June 2012
I am no supporter of Douglas Wilson. His ridiculous ideas on slavery and his conservative theology are unlikely to find much room on my bookshelves. Until, perhaps, now.
Yesterday, Wednesday, saw the chilling spectacle of Indonesia's largest book publisher and book shop, Gramedia Pustaka Utama, piling up Indonesian translations of his book, Five Cities that Ruled the World and torching them in public to the rapturous applause of assorted big hats from the Indonesian Ulema Council. The cause of this conflagration was a complaint by the Indonesian version of the Nazi Storm Troopers – the Front Pembela Islam (Islam Defenders Front) about a paragraph or two on one page of the book which justifiably described Muhammad as a pirate and murderer who carried out raids on caravans. The threat against the publisher was real enough – unless they torched the book their own outlets and staff would be facing a similar fate.
This follows on from the recent violent routing of Irshad Manji from these shores. She told no such home truths – she merely tried to associate the religion of Islam with love and freedom. Her book, clearly deviant to the purity of the message of Islam, was quickly removed from the bookshops. Needless to say, pirate versions are selling like bakso (the meat balls so loved by Indonesians).
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