Salman Rushdie gave a talk on Secular Values, Human Rights, and Islamism at the Center for Inquiry in NYC on Oct 11, 2006.
JACOBY: I think, what this seems to me to be saying, in English, is really don’t only Muslims have the right to criticize Islam?RUSHDIE: No. No. Everybody has the right to criticize everything. You know?
RUSHDIE: You don’t get a kind of get out of jail card if you happen to belong to a particular religion or club or cult. I mean I think the point about an open society is that everybody has their say. You don’t have to be anybody. Or rather you can, in fact, be anybody in order to have your opinion. The question is whether you argue your case well or badly. Nobody has to agree with me, you know. But if you’re going to give me the opportunity to have a microphone in front of me, and the chance to get up on my hind legs and talk, I may as well say what I think.
That’s pretty much at the center of it all, isn’t it?