a) Salman Rushdie is a controversial author who wrote the book, The Satanic Verses, which provides come critical views on the Islamic faith and ultimately forced Rushdie into a life of hiding after immense upheaval from the Islamic community. The reason for the upset was in Rushdie’s writings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, specifically concerning a Muslim tradition. In this tradition, the prophet Muhammad wrote into the Qur’an that he accepted three different goddesses worshipped in Mecca as divine beings. It is written that Muhammad later revoked this claim, saying that it was the work of Satan that these verses were ever written. However, Rushdie wrote in his novel that he thought this tradition was incorrect and that the verses in question actually originate from the Archangel Gibreel. As a result of this so-called blasphemy, the attempt of an author to write about the transformations and trials of migration, Salman Rushdie was exiled from his country and hunted by assassins for years to come. To this day the Iranian government still holds resentment toward Rushdie, and vows to continue hunting him as long as he is alive.
The U.K. connection comes from Rushdie’s Knighthood in 2007. While Rushdie was thrilled by the honor, many Muslim groups still condemned the act, and again vowed at the rime to take action against the author and his “disgraceful” writings.
b) In the reading of the article from The Atlantic, we gathered that the main limitation to Muslim assimilation in the U.K. is values, and their contrast between communities. The values that British or French or any other generic “U.K.” majority may hold are greatly different than those held by the Muslim community. For instance, the article outlines that the percentage Muslims who identify with their religion “strongly” in the U.K. topples the percentage of regular British or French who identify in the same way. The article also says that zero percent of the Muslim population polled think that there is a moral right to homosexuality, which is a rising identity within groups in the U.K. It is this clash in values and ideals that makes it difficult for Muslims to assimilate, but that still does not mean Muslims do not want to assimilate there. Muslims immigrating to the U.K. have no other choice but to settle there, when considering situations of economic and religious condemnation in their home countries, and therefore must somehow find a way to fit in with those societies. As I have said before however, it is the abilities of both parties to take a step back and understand one another that will have the most weight on determining peace among cultures.
c) Musawah is an organization which is for the advancement of the Muslim Woman in today’s society, and the expression of equality and justice within the Muslim Family. The word musawah means equality, according to the Musawah website. Some of their key messages emphasize that there can be no justice in the world without equality. Their framework focuses on the creation of small groups of believers in the same mindset to further their cause of instituting equality through the association of existing laws that are for human rights, as well as through the creation of new laws which can potentially help their efforts.
I think that this association is in the right mind, and that if they can potentially convert many Muslim women to their frame of thinking, then they will be a great proponent of the assimilation of Muslims into western culture. However, I have doubts in their ability to convince the rest of the Muslim population to help further women’s rights and further the idea of equality with all peoples, as they themselves are a majority of women and they do not hold a high status within Muslim society/culture.