Karen Armstrong, on faith and war

The author, renowned for her books on comparative religion, talks to Burhan Wazir about Islam and the need for eloquent gestures

The World Today Updated 4 January 2021 Published 12 June 2015 2 minute READ

Burhan Wazir

Editor, Coda Story

A large part of your career has been devoted to rejecting a narrow western narrative on Islam. Why?

I first started to take an interest around the time of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. I abhorred Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa, and was convinced Rushdie had the right to publish whatever he chose. What also troubled me was the ease with which Rushdie’s liberal supporters went from defending him to denouncing Islam as a bloodthirsty religion. This filled me with a kind of dread.

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