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February 23, 1989 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-23

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Ninety- nine years of editorialfreedom

Vol. IC, No. 103

Ann Arbor, Michigan -

Thursday, February 23, 1989

Copyright 1989, The Michigan Daily

The book whose author currently
has a $5.2 million bounty placed on
his life was officially released in
American book stores yesterday.
In solidarity with a demonstra-
tion held in New York City to de-
fend Salman Rushdie's Satanic
Verses,aUniversity professors and
Ann Arbor booksellers spoke out
yesterday in support of artistic free-
dom and in defense of Rushdie.
Before reading excerpts from the
book, a series of professors, book-
sellers, and members of Ann Arbor's
literary community explained to
nearly 200 people in Rackham
Auditorium why the recent threats
on Rushdie's life - and refusal of
bookstores around the country and in
Ann Arbor to shelve Satanic Verses
- were serious acts that threaten
both academic and intellectual free-
Ann Arbor's Barnes & Noble, B.
Dalton's, and Walden's Books have
all complied with orders from their
respective national offices and re-
moved the book from their shelves.
The stores are the United States'
three largest bookstore chains.
Karl Pohrt, who owns Ann Ar-
bor's Shaman Drum Bookshop, said
the decision to remove the book by
each of the three largest national
bookstore chains involves dangerous
"It's very serious. It's a terrifying
thought that these people have suc-
cumbed this easily to this type of
intimidation." He said that an
alarming precedent has now been es-
tablished in the United States in

sparks campus debate

'U' profs. and A2 booksellers
artistic freedom is threatened


terms of publishing and book sales.
Pohrt, who spoke at the confer-
ence, said his store is shelving Sa-
tanic Verses, although no copies are
presently in stock.
Novelist and University English
Prof. William Holinger characterized
the hysteria over Salman's novel as
"a rape of the imagination." He said
that American scholars, intellectuals,
and booksellers have been too quiet
about the attack on Rushdie. The
conference today, he said, is a "stand
against cowardice."
Butmembers of the Muslim
Students Association (MSA) said the
book should be taken off of Ameri-
can bookstore shelves because it
"slanders Muslims."
"To be critical of Islam is one
thing, but to ridicule, to mock, and
to attack the very basis of the reli-
gion is another," said Avis Kamal,
an MSA member. "The secular
intellect doesn't recognize Islam, and
Rushdie's book is part of a larger
Western tradition of attacking the
Muslim religion."
MSA member Haitem Younes,
who addressed the audience in Rack-
ham, said the Muslim reaction to
Rushdie's novel should be viewed in
the context of an increasingly
volatile Middle East. The book is
not helping to decrease tensions in
the region, he said.
University Psychology Prof.
Raphael Ezekiel told the audience

that the book is particularly disturb-
ing to Muslims because it is coming
from the West. He said that many
people in the Third World "feel a
terrific threat posed by the technol-
ogy and values of the West."
Ezekiel, however, condemned the
threats against Rushdie and his
book's displacement from bookstore
shelves, and encouraged the audience
to speak out for academic and intel-
lectual freedom.

Kamal said there would not have
been death threats had the world in-
tellectual community called Satanic
Verses "shameful andirresponsibie"
upon its release. He added that had
the book not been "patronized' it
would not have been perceived as an
attack against Muslims.
But Ezekiel said Kamal's claim is
a "fantasy." He said Rushdie was
sentenced to death without his book
ever being read.
Six different speakers read from
the book to give listeners a feel for
Rushdie's tone. And as one speaker
noted, his tone has sparked some of
the controversy.

Writers protest decision to take
Satanic Verses off the shelves

Ayatollah Khomeini said
Wednesday the mounting Western
condemnation of his order to kill
novelist Salman Rushdie has proven
the futility of normalizing relations
with the rest of the world.
In New York, hundreds of writers
demonstrated Wednesday against the
order outside the Iranian Mission to
the United Nations and two book
stores that pulled "The Satanic
Verses" from its shelves.
Rallies were scheduled in Boston,
Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis
and San Francisco to coincide with
the book's official publication date.

Authors in Finland and the
Netherlands also condemned
Khomeini's order Wednesday. Pub-
lishers in France, West Germany,
Greece and Turkey have canceled
plans to publish the book, which
has been banned as blasphemous to
Islam by at least seven countries,
including India, Pakistan and Egypt.
West Germany, Iran's biggest
trading partner, already has decided to
remove its ambassador from Tehran
as part of an action by the 12 Euro-
pean Economic Community coun-
tries. President Bush said Tuesday
that he supports the action.
Khomeini said economic sanc-
tions will not change his stance. .

'U' Prof. Rafael Ezekiel was one of six speakers who harshly criticized
U.S. bookstores that have taken Satanic Verses off their shelves.

Lesbians and gay males must overcome the rejec-
tion of established churches by redefining their rela-
tionship to God, Richard Cleaver told listeners at the
Canterbury House last night.
Cleaver is a member of the Peace Education Staff of
the American Friends Service Committee, a service
group that works for peace and justice.
Cleaver said established churches reflect society and
its oppression of lesbians and gay men through dis-
crimination and often by silence.
"It's a kind of discretion that results in making
those of us who are lesbians and gay men feel invisi-
ble in society, " Cleaver said.

addresses church

Cleaver expressed dissatisfaction with the way les-
bians and gay issues are being discussed in churches.
"The debate has become stagnant," he said.
Most central to the rejection is the church's insis-
tence on the problem of "homosexuality and not as the
problem of homophobia, the structural ways in which
lesbians and gay men are oppressed," he continued.
Another part of the problem is that the oppression
is conceived as being an issue of sexual practice. But it
is really a question involved with gender and the
"expectations involved with being a real man or
woman," he said. This causes a debate in differentiat-
ing "people's acts from people's emotions."
Cleaver says that every human relationship is a

practice on some level. The common pr
oppressors is to say "Your love is illegit
results in the painful "sense in which my
tures toward other human beings are rejec
too threatening or too frightening."
This feeling is contradictory to the u
love referred to in the scriptures, he said. C
society together consider lesbians and g
"betrayal to Christianity."
However, Cleaver urged, the poor and
most clearly what the scriptures say. "We
Church back to the truth of God's uncondi
Cleaver tried to explain the origins of
gay male discrimination within the church

He stated that the church saw itself as "the society
,icte Ti of the of the clean, the redeemed, the good," but that its
imate." This "dichotomy of clean and unclean is fundamentally out
loving ges- of whack with the message of Jesus."
;ted as being Lesbian and gay men can take actions to move be-
yond the situation of oppression and become "hearers
nconditional and doers of the word."
hurches and Cleaver said "we need to:
ay men as a -face our own conditions by ourselves
.struggle before we can come to understand who we
outcast hear are in relation to God
can call the -reclaim our own history to find those places where
tional love." God has worked towards our liberation
f lesbian and ,share the insights of other people who are engaged
. in working for their own liberation."

Allen Park mayor denies

civil rights,
The mayor of Allen Park yesterday denied tha
two members of his city's police force committed
civil rights violation in an incident involving tw
University students.
Mayor Gerald Richards, speaking at a pres
conference, said an internal investigation conducte
by Allen Park city officials determined the inciden
to be a misunderstanding.
The Rackham graduate students involved, Bobb
Clark and William Neal, were taking part in
University-sponsored study of the Detroit area whe
the incident occured. The students said they wer
listing the addresses of households in the area whe
the officers approached them and asked them t
leave the area.
"The officers to our knowlege did not ask then
to leave," said Mayor Gerald Richards. "The officer
suggested they continue their work in a differen
Clark last night denied Richards' account, an
said "even if the story they said -was true they ar

still violating our civil rights...We're not breaking
the law, so why can't we stay in that area?"
it Richards said the officers were responding to the
a complaints of residents who were disturbed that the
o students were writing down addresses. He added that
the officers were unaware of the study and that not
;s investigating the students' activities would have
d been irresponsible.
it "In the city of Allen Park anyone who is doing
that (recording addresses) is going to generate a
y complaint."
a But Clark said he and Neal will continue to seek
n legal counsel.
e University study officials maintain that a letter
n had been sent to the Allen Park Police Department
o regarding the canvassing before it occured. Neal and
Clark said when they were approached by the offi-
m cers they showed their University identification
rs cards and referred to the letter.
nt However, after calling the police station the
officers were told no such letter existed on file.
d The mayor said yesterday that no such letter is
re on file.

ban on
The FBI yesterday denounced the
University Law School's decision to
ban FBI recruiting for a year in re-
sponse to judicial findings that the
agency discriminated against His-
panic agents.
"We do not agree with the idea
that the FBI should be punished (by
the Law School)," said Milt
Ahlerich, assistant FBI director for
congressional and public affairs.
"The Director has taken a num-
ber of measures towards Affirmative
Action," said Ahlerich.
Law School Dean Lee Bollinger
imposed the ban in December - to
last until May 1989 - after students
brought the Texas FBI discrimina-
tion suit to Bollinger's attention.
"The students said it was viola-
tion of our placement antidiscrimi-
nation policy" for such an organiza-
tion to be allowed to recruit at the
school, Bollinger said.
The successful discrimination law
suit was filed by Bernardo Perez on
behalf of 311 Hispanic agents.
U.S. District Judge Bunton, who
ruled in the suit, is now holding a
hearino de tetrmine how much the

Allen Park Mayor Gerald Richards denies any civil rights violations in
an incident where two University students were reportedly harassed.

. .. ___ ___ -i

Chapman, McFerrin take Grammys

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Singer-songwriter
Tracy Chapman, a shy newcomer to the recording
industry, won three Grammy awards last night
for her debut LP, and song stylist Bobby
McFerrin won best pop male vocal performance
for his hit single, "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
"I want to thank my family, my mother, who
bought me my first guitar, my sister, who's al-
ways been my best audience, best critic, and best
friend," Chapman said tearfully as she accepted

Jazz singer Anita
claimed two rhy
blues trophies, as t
annual Grammy.
pre-broadcast cer
got underway
Shrine Auditorium

a Baker contemporary folk recording, for her album,
'thm & "Tracy Chapman." McFerrin, whose voice is a
thinm& one-man orchestra, had five nominations.
the 31st Baker took best rhythm & blues song and best
Awards female vocal performance in that category for
Aw ards "Giving You the Best That I Got," she shared
emonies best song, a song-writing award, with Skip
at the Scarbourough and Randy Holland.
In the rap category, which was hit by a boy-
. , cott by some of the major nominees, the best

T I ~ (7~h~t~ ~t~tt~ ~tn~A uAii*~h

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