This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
Germany: Salman Rushdie talks freedom of speech at world's largest book fair02:53

Germany: Salman Rushdie talks freedom of speech at world's largest book fair

Germany, Frankfurt
October 13, 2015 at 06:10 GMT +00:00 · Published

Renowned British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie spoke at the opening press conference of the Frankfurt Book Fair, on Tuesday. Rushdie said that publishing "is starting to feel like a war," as he addressed issues of freedom of speech for writers today.

"Writers are not warriors, we have no guns, we have no tanks but it falls to us - I think - to hold the line, not withdraw from our positions but to understand that this is a position from which we cannot fall back," added Rushdie. The writer also took aim at "tyrants" trying to control culture, stating "if you believe on a single vision of the truth… then people offering diverse visions of the truth become your enemies."

His appearance at the fair comes amid controversy as the Iranian government cancelled its attendance at the festival. The Islamic Republic cited Rushdie's alleged blasphemy in his 1989 novel "The Satanic Verses" as the reason for their cancellation. In the book Rushdie depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed, an act which led to the writer being the target of a religious edict or fatwa calling for his killing by the then Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Iranian government ceased their support in 1998.

Juergen Boos, the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, declared his disappointment with Iran's "boycott," calling it "another missed opportunity to cooperate with our Iranian colleagues."

Germany: Salman Rushdie talks freedom of speech at world's largest book fair02:53
No Account? Sign up!
Description

Renowned British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie spoke at the opening press conference of the Frankfurt Book Fair, on Tuesday. Rushdie said that publishing "is starting to feel like a war," as he addressed issues of freedom of speech for writers today.

"Writers are not warriors, we have no guns, we have no tanks but it falls to us - I think - to hold the line, not withdraw from our positions but to understand that this is a position from which we cannot fall back," added Rushdie. The writer also took aim at "tyrants" trying to control culture, stating "if you believe on a single vision of the truth… then people offering diverse visions of the truth become your enemies."

His appearance at the fair comes amid controversy as the Iranian government cancelled its attendance at the festival. The Islamic Republic cited Rushdie's alleged blasphemy in his 1989 novel "The Satanic Verses" as the reason for their cancellation. In the book Rushdie depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed, an act which led to the writer being the target of a religious edict or fatwa calling for his killing by the then Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Iranian government ceased their support in 1998.

Juergen Boos, the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, declared his disappointment with Iran's "boycott," calling it "another missed opportunity to cooperate with our Iranian colleagues."

Top downloads in last 24 hours
Pool for subscribers only
01:45
Germany: Syrian man convicted of crimes against humanity in landmark German trialGermany: Syrian man convicted of crimes against humanity in landmark German trial
February 24, 2021 at 10:18 GMT +00:00
01:59
Japan: Dozens of households told to leave as wildfire spreads through Mount RyogaiJapan: Dozens of households told to leave as wildfire spreads through Mount Ryogai
February 24, 2021 at 16:23 GMT +00:00
06:04
Iranian champion weightlifting youth dreams of future Olympic titleIranian champion weightlifting youth dreams of future Olympic title
February 24, 2021 at 09:12 GMT +00:00
01:51
Armenia: Pashinyan holds rally with supporters after army demands his resignationArmenia: Pashinyan holds rally with supporters after army demands his resignation
February 25, 2021 at 11:15 GMT +00:00
01:42
Canada: Niagara Falls partially freezes as winter storm brings bitter coldCanada: Niagara Falls partially freezes as winter storm brings bitter cold
February 23, 2021 at 23:47 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:28
Germany: IS chief recruiter sentenced to ten-and-a-half years in prisonGermany: IS chief recruiter sentenced to ten-and-a-half years in prison
February 24, 2021 at 10:26 GMT +00:00
04:46
They see me rolling - Guangdong skater girl goes viral with amazing freeline skating skillsThey see me rolling - Guangdong skater girl goes viral with amazing freeline skating skills
February 23, 2021 at 14:38 GMT +00:00
03:03
Armenia: Protesters honk car horns, block traffic in Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan Armenia: Protesters honk car horns, block traffic in Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan
February 25, 2021 at 11:01 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:08
Spain: Firefighters rescue dog trapped between rocks in PizarraSpain: Firefighters rescue dog trapped between rocks in Pizarra
February 24, 2021 at 00:04 GMT +00:00
05:09
Watch out, LeBron - Corgi becomes unexpected basketball star on Chinese social mediaWatch out, LeBron - Corgi becomes unexpected basketball star on Chinese social media
February 23, 2021 at 20:03 GMT +00:00
02:14
Not all heroes wear capes! Bus driver talks about saving visitors stuck in burning mallNot all heroes wear capes! Bus driver talks about saving visitors stuck in burning mall
February 24, 2021 at 21:58 GMT +00:00
01:52
Japan: Wildfires scorch 765,000 sq m as efforts to contain flames continue near AshikagaJapan: Wildfires scorch 765,000 sq m as efforts to contain flames continue near Ashikaga
February 25, 2021 at 02:18 GMT +00:00
02:29
Sea of cranes - birds gather at Israeli nature reserve on their way to EuropeSea of cranes - birds gather at Israeli nature reserve on their way to Europe
February 24, 2021 at 21:14 GMT +00:00
02:47
Armenia: Protesters block traffic in Yerevan street at rally against PM PashinyanArmenia: Protesters block traffic in Yerevan street at rally against PM Pashinyan
February 23, 2021 at 23:13 GMT +00:00
03:18
Armenia: Dozens detained at Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan Armenia: Dozens detained at Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan
February 23, 2021 at 13:59 GMT +00:00
02:20
Greece: Police disperse Athens demo in support of convict Dimitris Koufontinas' hunger strikeGreece: Police disperse Athens demo in support of convict Dimitris Koufontinas' hunger strike
February 24, 2021 at 23:29 GMT +00:00
02:59
Germany: Hamburg customs police seize 16 tons of cocaine in Europe's biggest haulGermany: Hamburg customs police seize 16 tons of cocaine in Europe's biggest haul
February 24, 2021 at 16:42 GMT +00:00
00:14
Canada: Home CCTV camera captures meteor as it shoots through night skyCanada: Home CCTV camera captures meteor as it shoots through night sky
February 24, 2021 at 18:18 GMT +00:00
03:32
Spain: Elderly people vaccinated against COVID-19 attend theatre show in MadridSpain: Elderly people vaccinated against COVID-19 attend theatre show in Madrid
February 24, 2021 at 17:35 GMT +00:00
02:31
USA: Father-son duo invent desk to protect children during school shootingsUSA: Father-son duo invent desk to protect children during school shootings
February 24, 2021 at 10:41 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
02:09
Russia: Lavrov calls out West for using pandemic to punish ‘unwelcome’ governmentsRussia: Lavrov calls out West for using pandemic to punish ‘unwelcome’ governments
February 24, 2021 at 11:58 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
00:32
Italy: Landslide pushes hundreds of coffins into sea near GenoaItaly: Landslide pushes hundreds of coffins into sea near Genoa
February 24, 2021 at 17:57 GMT +00:00
02:29
Germany: 9 arrested for storming Greek consulate in solidarity with hunger striker Dimitris KoufontinasGermany: 9 arrested for storming Greek consulate in solidarity with hunger striker Dimitris Koufontinas
February 24, 2021 at 19:45 GMT +00:00
View all videos