• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the main issues in the Rushdie affair and suggest ways in which it should be resolved.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the main issues in the Rushdie affair and suggest ways in which it should be resolved. Modern day Britain can be called a good example of a multi-cultural society, there are a number of different ethnic groups, all with diverse religious, cultural values and practices. There are fundamental differences, which distinguish such groups, but it is widely accepted that all individuals living in the United Kingdom should also abide by a common set of laws and values that maintain the structure of our modern liberal framework of society. The impact of the 'Rushdie affair' created much controversy surrounding the Muslim community, their allegiance to their faith and how they responded to attacks on it. In addition, questions surrounding apparent cultural difficulties in accepting liberal values and an inability for the Muslim community to both live side by side and become accepted within British society were asked. Parekh B sums up his point with 'From time to time a multicultural society is bound throw up situations in which deep cultural and moral disagreements between its different communities come to the fore and create a crisis' (B Parekh, 1991, p295) This 'crisis', as it is called by Parekh, came in the form a book. The Satanic Verses (1988) is a novel written in the style of 'magic - realism', where fantastical themes, scenes and plots are set along side a realistic and believable story line. ...read more.

Middle

In the UK, Muslim objections were seen as un-reasonable and their motives seen as backwards and uncivilised. The media portrayal of Muslim feelings was quick to re-affirm the apparent harm and de-stabilization that Muslims were causing mainstream British society. Parekh emphasises this media portrayal of Muslims during the 'Rushdie affair' with, 'They (Muslim protestors) were called 'barbarians', 'uncivilised, 'fanatics' and compared to the Nazis. Many a writer, some of impeccable liberal credentials, openly wondered how Britain could 'civilise' them and protect their progeny from their 'medieval fundamentalism''. (B Parekh, 1991, p300) This led objectors of Rushdie to note that such views were not held by a majority of the Muslim community and the media was not portraying an accurate picture of community feelings or reactions. Sardar and Davies (1990) call this a 'Distorted imagination' (Sardar & Davies, 1990) and therefore a distorted reality of reactions and anti Rushdie feelings. The fundamentalist picture painted by the fatwah of Khomeini and the unbalanced portrayal of the media gave a picture of general Muslim feelings and helped enforce stereotypes of a fundamentalist unreasonable community. Sardar and Davies point out the unbalanced stance which the media took when debating opinions about issues raised by the 'affair' by noting that during such media interviews ' a rough calculation shows, a ratio of 10 to 1, non Muslims to Muslims' (Sardar & Davies, 1990, Media). The picture which the media portrayed, and helped impose and sustain, is summed up by Parekh, ' Most of the liberal and Conservative press was hostile, accusing Muslims of preferring a theocratic to a liberal secular society and bringing Britain nothing but shame'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Much of my acceptance and understanding of other cultures comes from childhood experiences and friendships with a diverse range of peers within my educational environment. Schools should promote a diverse ethnic, cultural and social mix. This will go a long way in abolishing untrue stereotypes, and administer a better personal understanding of the many diverse cultural and social backgrounds within society. Examples of integration being promoted within schools can be seen with the schemes adopted by certain LEA's (e.g. Glasgow) to promote an understanding of the diverse cultures of political asylum children, this is done by the whole class taking part in a pantomime about the cultural and religious backgrounds of the children. Many such initiatives are required, but Integration must not stop at the education system. Only through a whole national consensus backed by all channels of society including the media, politicians and the general public as a whole, will we be able to accept and understand the many diverse cultures, religious practices and their traditions and histories. Debates should (and hopefully are) attempt to create new and accepted definitions of being British, without challenging morally acceptable cultural practices wherever they may originate from. Only with this acceptance and openness being administrated thorough society will we break down cultural barriers and non-acceptance as seen with the Rushdie affair. Otherwise such questions, issues and events will continue to take place for another decade and beyond, with actions and consequences I would not wish to predict. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. The Go-between, while a powerful story of a young boy’s premature involvement in an ...

    The idea of him either being a man or still a boy is suggested by the break up in the passage, which is a reflection of the point Leo has reached in his life "I was prepared to dread it, but not prepared for the tumult of emotions it aroused in me".

  2. The issues of ethnicity and race is so pervasive in our world that they ...

    The child will look somewhat similar to the parents. In the most general sense of similarity the hair, skin and eyes will be similar. The face will share the same features. Other factors can also further amplify racial differences, for example middle eastern men can be very hirsute, while asians can be seemingly hairless.

  1. Crime - 'The media portrays ethnic minorities in negative ways', Discuss.

    The advantages for this kind of method is that it will give me both sides of the argument and this will give me some kind of understanding on what the public thinks, I believe this is important because if I don't get both sides of the argument then I wouldn't

  2. The cannabis debate

    Hedonistic Utilitarianism says that cannabis is ethical because it maximises pleasure for the majority, which outweighs the alternatives or, it is unethical because the pleasures gained do not outweigh the alternatives. This theory has been refined in more modern terms as Pluralistic Utilitarianism that argues that people's pleasure can be measured by their purchases and pursuits.

  1. Does Boxing have a future?

    Secondly, it presents a poor image to children and others. Coverage by the media of the excitement on seeing boxers fighting cutting are another, knocking each other down and ending a fight exhausted is viewed as being repulsive and unacceptable.

  2. Illegal Immigration

    Impact of Illegal Immigration on the economy The Bahamas just like any other country is faced with social and economic issues. But looking at society today, it can be said that illegal immigration continues to cause a huge strain for the Bahamas as a small developing nation.

  1. What Is Ageism; What, If Any, Affinities Does It Have With Racism or Sexism?

    I believe that ageism occurs because old age is feared, and old age is feared because it is related to death, which is feared by most people. Kastenbaum tells us that ' as death is feared, old age is feared; death and old age are viewed as synonymous' (Kastenbaum 1979).

  2. Environmental Lessons From History.

    Why not then build huge images looking heavenward to seek an answer, from the gods, as to what might be in store for their remote civilisation? When no answer comes, construct more noticeable figures with colours engrained and adornments, such as the hats, or 'pukao' placed on later statues.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work