August 15, 2022

BRENDAN O’NEILL: From Rushdie to Rowling — how identity politics turned violent.

It felt grimly fitting that JK Rowling was subjected to yet another death threat in the wake of the sickening attack on Salman Rushdie. For Rowling is Rushdie to the woke set. With her gender-critical views, she disgusts the preachers of correct thought as much as Rushdie disgusted the clerics of Iran. To the woke ayatollahs of the trans movement and its noisy allies in the media, Rowling is a blasphemer, an utterer of profanity, an apostate of PC. They threaten her with death, as Islamists did with Rushdie. They burn her books, as mobs did with The Satanic Verses. They dream of silencing her, as Iran dreamt of silencing Salman. It isn’t only regressive religious elders who issue fatwas against dissenting writers these days.

‘Don’t worry you are next’, a man tweeted at Rowling when she expressed horror over the stabbing of Rushdie. In this instance the vile intimidator of Ms Rowling seems to be someone with Islamist leanings. That makes a change. Normally the people who threaten Rowling with death – or assault, or rape – are adherents to the cult of transgender rather than the cult of radical Islam. In July a tweeter with the trans flag in his bio posted Rowling’s family address alongside an image of a bomb-making handbook. Another expressed his desire to ‘kill TERFs’ and said to Rowling: ‘I hope you fit in a hearse, bitch.’ Social-media sites overflow with deranged fantasies about Rowling dying a violent death. Seeing someone say to Rowling ‘Bitch I’m gonna kill you’ has become shockingly normal in the 2020s. Probably as normal as it was to hear hardline Muslims say ‘Rushdie must die’ as they chatted after prayers in Tehran back in the day.

The Ayatollah Khomeini’s famous quote that “There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious,” is the mantra of the far left as well: THAT’S NOT FUNNY! Hysterical Reinhart Meme Goes Viral After Twitter Ban.

(Artwork by Jon Gabriel.)

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