“The son of Salman Rushdie”

They thrown a half-burnt copy of the novel into Taqi's home. Photo: DW-Dari

They thrown a half-burnt copy of the novel into Taqi’s home. Photo: DW-Dari

Another blasphemy case in Kabul. This time, a friend of mine, Taqi Bakhtiari the author of the novel Gomnami [Anonymity] is being threatened to death by phone, text, in person and even on social networking sites. The main person behind the death threats is Sayed Mohsen Hojjat, a Kabul-based clergyman close to Ayatollah Asif Mohseni.

The gang of extremists has threatened Taak Books, the publisher, and the booksellers of Kabul as well. According  to this BBC Persian report, It’s difficult to find a copy of the book in the city as the booksellers don’t sell it anymore.

The book which was published in fall 2012 in Kabul is about an Afghan refugee in Iran who enrolls in a seminary in Isfahan. In the seminary, the master who is an Ayatollah rapes him. He gradually realizes that the world of religion is not what they say it is. He starts reading non-religious books and loses his faith. He returns to Afghanistan as a godless man. (A plot line which is familiar to all Afghans who have been to Iran during the war years. Not everyone was raped, but the majority came back with strong anti-religion feelings. )

I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t judge the content or the quality of the novel. But what I know is that Taqi is a gifted, imaginative and courageous writer, who is not afraid to write down his ideas and imaginations and publish them. The kind of writer which is very rare in Afghanistan.

Since the threats got serious, he and his family have been living in a secret place in Kabul, and some friends even believe that he has fled the country.  He can’t be reached.

Taqi Bakhtiari is in his late 30s and Gomnami is his second novel after Balway-e Khuftagan. Born in Jaghuri, Ghazni province, he has a Bachelor degree in journalism from Balkh University and has worked for an American company in Kabul for the past several years.

The DW-Dari has published a picture of Taqi’s half-burnt book that the unknown Islamists have thrown into his home and a picture of his lovely red Corolla with its windshield smashed and these words painted upon it: “The son of Salman Rushdie. Godless Infidel.”

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7 thoughts on ““The son of Salman Rushdie”

  1. Salam, everyone knows these matters are so sensitive n can hurt and arouse ppls emotions. I wonder y do ppl still continue creating trouble not only for themselves but also for others. I bet the community he belongs to will have to pay the price of his stupidity. We are being killed with no excuse n tnx to bakhtiari for giving an excuse for ppl to kill us more. Please ppl dont endanger the poors lives by these stupid books. Having a bachelors degree n money has closed some ppls sights thats y they dont care about others but their own popularity.
    Tnx

    • Mr. Najib, I read your comments but I do not understand your calling for calm , You have to begin working on your muslim comrades to have understanding for other views as well. This book is not stupid nor is any other book ever published. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. He has not written an antireligious manifest nor a Kuranic interpretation. His book is a work of fiction based on everyday experiences of life in Afghanistan. We need to grow up and learn to respect other people’s opinions. If you kill everyone who doesn’t think like you, believe me, there wouldn’t be left a lot of people on earth.
    Instead of asking the writers and artists to shut up, ask the warlords and the extremists to listen.

  3. I totally agree with you Ali. The third world nations need to wake up. I am an Iranian and I am proud of my history before foundation and occupation of our country by Arabs and their bloody based sword religion. “Islam”
    Ayatollahs are the most corrupted human beings on earth. You need proof, just live among them for a short time. You will see what kind of animals they are.

    • This has been the practice of Muslims and Islamic societies ever since it got started (there are many references to this idea in Qur’an) to shut out any opposing views to its own teaching. Here is a story fiction has no reference to Islam, Muslims ,Quran teaching……and is being subjected to this kind of resentment!

  4. I think we should read the book first and then judge about the fetwa of Ayatullah seyyed mohsen hojjat.

    In page 190 there is line which says the world was created by Allahs Masturbation.

    Now you Judge

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