Widener University, just outside Philadelphia, really rolled out the welcome wagon for guest speaker Salman Rushdie yesterday. Of course, said wagon was full of police carrying assault rifles, SWAT-team members, and drug-sniffing canines, because apparently someone was unaware that the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini on Rushdie was lifted, like, ten years ago. Upon his arrival at the train station, Rushdie was, obviously, terrified — “It’s insane!” he said told the Inquirer after his lecture. “I was absolutely horrified. Assault rifles, tracker dogs — they scare me!” He was not to mention probably secondhand embarrassed for his hosts, like, Um, you guys know that I travel freely about Manhattan going to parties like a regular Fabian Basabe these days, right? Didn’t anyone see me in Bridget Jones? Oddly, the school said that they “knew from the beginning” that Rushdie didn’t want security, but it was provided anyway, ostensibly because, goshdarnit, no Muslim terrorists were going to do anyone any harm on their watch.
Salman Rushdie ‘horrified’ by security for Widener U. visit [Philly.com]