Author Salman Rushdie, whose work sparked Muslim protests and death threats in the 1980s and who still has a bounty on his head, said on Sunday that the Muslim world’s reaction to an anti-Islam video stemmed from an “insecurity of culture.”
“I think it's clearly evidence of a kind of insecurity of culture,” Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, said on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, “because if you're secure in your sense of yourself, in your belief system or whatever it might be, you know, you can shrug off criticisms.”
He added: “You know, there are cartoons about The Pope every day in the papers, that you don't have Catholics burning down newspaper offices.”
The video by a U.S. filmmaker, called “Innocence of the Muslims,” was the basis of protests in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and other countries. Rushdie was sharply critical of the protests, saying the film should have been ignored. “Yes, there's the stupid film, you know, and the correct response to a stupid film on YouTube is to say it's a stupid film on YouTube and you get on with the rest of your life," he said.
This week, a group of Iranians boosted the reward amount for the death of Rushdie, from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.