While I couldn't particularly fathom Hinkley's brand of crazy, I definitely understood why someone would target the president. He was a powerful man, the leader of our country, and if those concepts were somewhat hazy for me, I had at least been exposed to them at school. Lincoln and Kennedy, murdered in public by their own crazy assassins - need I say more?
|The original function of a mosque wasn't simply for worship, but also for studying the Qur'an. Here are students, known as taliba in Arabic.|
This guy, Salman Rushdie, was an author.
He wrote fantasy-type stuff, and although I had no problems recognizing that the power held by political leaders made them obvious choices for harm, I didn't understand the basic premise governing the outpouring of religious outrage that CBS World News televised from the Muslim corner of the globe.
The pen being mightier than the sword might ring true in this case, except that the author had to go into hiding when the Ayatollah put a price on his head. A writer may have great power, but the wielder of the sword does, too, and I think that is a more realistic lesson to learn about the whole spin we in the western world place on the power of ink.
|Alley of old Cairo.|
Maybe, although that wasn't my primary intention. I just heard a blurb about Rushdie the other day, and it took me back to my impressions of the good old days, when an American president got shot and lived to tell about it, and an author went into hiding because he feared for his life. Nothing like a little controversy to make a girl nostalgic.
I think in the present world of 24/7 news-as-entertainment that it's worth pointing out that the details of these stories stick with me because I recognized their gravity. The stark details of real news presented by an anchor man who seldom voiced an opinion on the stories he presented gave me the parameters I needed to know the difference between fiction and fact, and although the news media didn't recap every half hour, I knew enough.
|Minaret of one of the many mosques in Cairo, Egypt. Minarets, taller than other buildings, show people where to go for worship, much the same way steeples were incorporated into western churches for the same purpose.|
As soon as I read it, I'll let you know what this audience of one thinks of the book so powerful that it frightened a Muslim leader into issuing a death threat against an author.