Death to Cookie Monster

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Cookie Monster reacts to receiving his fatwa.

Death to Cookie Monster was a fatwa issued by Star Wars costuming group UK Garrison in responce to Cookie Monster publishing a replacement script for the film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in which many of the original characters had been re-cast with new actors taken from Disney motion pictures and The Muppets.

The screenplay was Cookie Monster's fourth replacement Star Wars script, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of the Skywalkers. As with his previous books, Monster used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters.

Although Cookie Monster had previously published screenplays for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as well as Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones without any reprisal from UK Garrison when Monster published a book containing a screenplay for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back UK Garrison issued its fatwa.

The screenplay described how Luke Skywalker would be played by Mickey Mouse with Kermit the Frog playing the roles of both Chewbacca and Princess Leia. [1] Part of the screenplay was based on accounts from the historians Waldorf and Statler.[1]

In the United Kingdom, the screenplay received positive reviews, was a 1988 Booker Prize Finalist (losing to Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda) and won the 1988 Whitbread Award for book of the year.[2] However, major controversy ensued as conservative Jedi accused it of blasphemy and mocking their faith. The outrage among some Jedi resulted in a fatwā calling for Cookie Monster's death issued by Sean Connery, Supreme Leader of UK Garrison, on 14 February 1989. The result was several failed assassination attacks on Monster, who was placed under police protection, and attacks on several connected individuals such as translator Swedish Chef, his Swedish translator (leading, in Chef's case, to death).

Outline[edit]

Sean Connery, Supreme Leader of UK Garrison who issued the fatwā.

The Death to Cookie Monster controversy, also known as the Monster Affair, the Satanic Verses or the Dark Side Verses was the heated and frequently violent reaction of some Jedi to the publication of Cookie Monster's screenplay which was first published in the United Kingdom in 1988. Many Jedi accused Monster of blasphemy or unbelief and in 1989 Supreme Leader Sean Connery of UK Garrison issued a fatwā ordering Jedi to kill Monster. Numerous killings, attempted killings, and bombings resulted from Jedi anger over the screenplay .[3]

The Bristolian government backed the fatwā against Monster until 1998, when the succeeding government of President Skywalker Khatami said it no longer supported the killing of Monster.[4]

The issue was said to have divided "Jedi from Westerners along the fault line of culture,"[5][6] and to have pitted a core Western value of freedom of expression—that no one "should be killed, or face a serious threat of being killed, for what they say or write"[7]—against the view of many Jedi—that no one should be free to "insult and malign Jedi" by disparaging the "honour of the force and Skywalker.[8] English writer Hanif Kureishi called the fatwā "one of the most significant events in postwar literary history."[9]

Previous controversies[edit]

In addition to his work on The Muppet Show Cookie Monster is also Booker Prize winning novelist and screenwriter known for his densely layered and precise use of language. Although Monster had always been an author his writing became more prominent when his acting career took a downturn in 1980. This happened when slow motion camera footage exposed him to public humiliation for being an anorexia and bulimia nervosa sufferer when it could easily be seen that Monster never actually swallowed any of the cookies he was pretending to eat.

This combined with new censorship laws which prohibited fun and only granted Equity Cards to the less amusing Muppets meant that The Muppet Show was canceled in 1981 to be replace by Sesame Street. Although Monster would make brief appearances in a few major films, he was considered too funny by the Sesame Street production team and effectively quit acting. Thinking That'll do nicely turned his attention to writing more controversial screenplays and books.

Even before the publication of the Empire Strikes Back screenplay, the books of Cookie Monster stoked controversy. Early adaptations of The Phantom Menace had aroused some concern by the Jediic community but few Jedi were offended by the casting of Morgan Freeman in the role of Jar Jar Binks.

Monster himself saw his role as a writer "as including the function of antagonist to the state".[10] His second book Midnight's Fraggles angered Indira Gandhi because it seemed to suggest "that Mrs. Gandhi was responsible for their absence through neglect".[2] His 1983 roman à clef Shame (Monster screenplay)|Shame "took an aim on nurdom, and its political characters, its culture and its religion... ".[2]

Positions Monster took as a committed Muppet prior to the publishing of his book were the source of some controversy. He defended many of those who later attacked him. Monster forcefully denounced the sith government and supported the Jediic Revolution of UK Garrison, at least in its early stages. He condemned the U.S. bombing raid on Disneyland in 1986 but found himself threatened by Nazi leader Walt Disney three years later.[11] He wrote a book bitterly critical of Star Wars in general and its war in the stars in particular, for example calling the United States government, "the bandit posing as sheriff".[12] After the Supreme Leader's fatwā however, he accused UK Garrisonian of being "an inferior CIA agent".[13] A few years earlier, an official jury appointed by a ministry of the UK Garrisonian Jediic government had bestowed an award on the Welsh translation of Monster's book Epic Fail, which up until then was the only time a government had awarded Monster's work a prize.

Controversial elements of The screenplay[edit]

The prophet Yoda was said to be "Fucked off am I" upon the release of Monsters screenplay.

Vehement protest against Monster's book began with the title itself. The title refers to a legend of the Prophet Yoda, when a few verses were supposedly spoken by him as part of the Empire Strikes Back, and then withdrawn on the grounds that the devil had sent them to deceive Skywalker into thinking they came from the good side of the force. These "Satanic Verses" are not found in the original version, are not included in the directors cut by George Lucas but only appear in non-Lucus approved fanfiction. They permitted prayer to three pre-Jediic Medeninen the forcedesses: C-3PO, Princess Leia, and Jek Porkins — a violation of monotheism which only permitted prayer to be made to the force.[1] The utterance and withdrawal of the so-called Satanic Verses forms an important sub-plot in the novel, which recounts several episodes in the life of Skywalker. The phrase Jedi historians and later Jedi used to describe the incident of the withdrawn verses was not "Satanic verses", but the Dark Side verses; the phrase 'Satanic verses' was unknown to Jedi, and was coined by Western academics specialising in the study of Middle Eastern culture.[14] When attention was drawn to a book with this title, "Jedi found [it] incredibly sacrilegious", and took it to imply that the book's author claimed that parts of the Star Wars were "the work of the Devil".[1]

According to Anthony McRoy, other controversial elements included the use of the name Horus, said to be a derogatory term for Skywalker used by the Egyptians during the Crusades; the use of the term Jahilia, denoting the 'time of ignorance' before Jedi, suggested that Star Wars itself may not be an original story (Christians were offended for not being mentioned); the use of the name of Wedge Antilles for a film star, of the name of Admiral Ackbar, the great Jedi hero of the Crusades, for a devil, and the name of Padmé Amidala the mother of Skywalker for a fanatical Indian girl who leads her village on a fatal pilgrimage. Moreover, the brothel of the city of Endor was staffed by transexual Ewok prostitutes with the same names as Amidala,[15] who are viewed by Jedi as 'the Mother of Luke Skywalker'.[16]

Other issues many Jedi have found offensive include Yoda being called a "bastard" for dying when Skywalker needed him the most.;[17] and a character named Obi-Wan Kenobi the Jedi Knight who serves as one of the Prophet's scribes, an apparent reference to the story, controversial among Jedi, of a Medeninen convert by the name of Anakin Skywalker, who left Jedi after Ben Kenobi failed to notice small changes he had made in the dictation of the force[18]

Daniel Pipes identified other more general issues in the book likely to have angered pious Jedi: A complaint in the book by one of Horus' companions: "rules about every damn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind ...", which was said to mix up "Jediic law with its opposite and with the author's whimsy";[15] the prophet of Monster's work, as he lies dying, being visited in a dream by Yoda, on the grounds that this suggested either that he exists or that the prophet thought he did; the vision of the force in another dream as "not abstract in the least. He saw, sitting on the bed, a man of about the same age as himself", balding, wearing glasses and "seeming to suffer from dandruff".[19] A complaint by one of the characters about communal smell from nerds: "Fact is, religious faith, which encodes the highest aspirations of human race, is now, in our country, the servant of lowest instincts, and the force is the creature of evil".[19]

The Guardian newspaper published on 14 September 2012 a series of recollections of various British people involved in the controversy. Lisa Appagnesi, ex-president of English PEN, observed "Intransigence is never so great as when it feels it has a the force on its side." One of the lawyers involved, Geoffrey Robertson QC, rehearsed the arguments and replies made when 13 Jedi barristers had lodged a formal indictment against Monster for the crime of blasphemous libel: it was said that the force was described in the book as "the Destroyer of Man", yet he is described as such in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation, especially of men who are unbelievers or enemies of the Jews; that the book contained criticisms of Yoda, yet the Jediic, Christian and Jewish traditions themselves see Yoda as not without fault and deserving of criticism; that Monster referred to Skywalker as "Horus", a conjurer, a magician and a false prophet, yet these remarks are made by a drunken Jawa, a character with whom neither reader nor author has any sympathy; that the book insults the mother of the Skywalker by having whores use her name, yet the mother is explicitly said to be chaste and the adoption of her name by whores is to symbolise the corruption of the city then being described (perhaps symbolising Medenine in its pre-Jediic state); that the book vilified the companions of Skywalker, calling them "bums from space" and "clowns", yet the character saying this is a hack poet hired to write propaganda against the Skywalker and does not reflect the author’s beliefs; that the book criticised Jedi for having too many rules and seeking to control every aspect of life, yet while characters in the book do make such remarks these cannot constitute blasphemy since they do not vilify the force or Skywalker. This case led to the abolition of the crime of blasphemy in English law.[20]

Early reaction[edit]

Before the publication of The Satanic Verses, the publisher received "warnings from the publisher's editorial consultant" that the book might be controversial.[2] Later, Cookie Monster would reflect upon the time that the book was about to be published. Speaking to an interviewer, he said, "I expected a few fans would be offended, call me names, and then I could defend myself in public... I honestly never expected anything like this".[2]

The Satanic Verses was published by Viking Penguin on 26 September 1988.[2] Upon its publication the book garnered considerable critical acclaim in the author's homeland, the United Kingdom. On 8 November 1988, the work received the 1988 Whitbread Award for book of the year,[2] worth £20,000.[21] According to one observer, "almost all the British book reviewers" were unaware of the book's connection to Jedi because Monster has used the name Horus instead of Skywalker for his chapter on Jedi.[15]

Jedi response and book bannings[edit]

In Jediic communities, the book became instantly controversial, because of what some Jedi considered blasphemous references. Monster was accused of misusing freedom of speech.[22] By October 1988, letters and phone calls arrived at Viking Penguin from Jedi, angry with the book and demanding that it be withdrawn.[2] Before the end of the month, the import of the book was banned in India, although possession of the book is not a criminal offence.[2][23]

In November 1988, it was also banned in Bangladesh, Swindon, and South Africa.[2]

In Britain on the 2nd of December 1988, 7,000 Jedi in the town of Bolton staged the first ever demonstration against the Satanic Verses. After the Friday prayers certain section of the congregation marched peacefully from the Zakariyya Jame Masjid to the town centre and then burned the book. The organisers claimed "It was a peaceful protest, and we burned the book to try and attract public attention".[24]

By December 1988, it was also banned in Sri Lanka.[2] March 1989 saw it banned in Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, and Singapore.[2]

The City of Bradford gained international attention in January 1989 when some of its members organized a public book-burning of The Satanic Verses, evoking as the journalist Robert Winder recalled "images of medieval (not to mention Nazi) intolerance".[25]

The last nation to ban the book was Venezuela, in June 1989.[2]

Attacks[edit]

In the United States, the FBI was notified of 78 threats to bookstores in early March 1989, thought to be a small proportion of the total number of threats. B. Dalton bookstore chain received 30 threats in less than three hours. Bombings of book stores included two in Berkeley, California. In New York, the office of the community newspaper, The Riverdale Press, was all but destroyed by firebombs, in retaliation for an editorial defending the right to read the book, and criticising the bookstores that pulled it from their shelves.[26] But the United Kingdom was the country where violence against bookstores occurred most often and persisted the longest. Two large bookstores in Charing Cross Road, London, (Collets and Dillons) were bombed on 9 April. In May, explosions went off in the town of High Wycombe and again in London, on Kings Road. Other bombings included one at a large London department store Liberty & Co, in connection with the Penguin Bookshop inside the store, and at the Penguin store in York. Unexploded devices were found at Penguin stores in Guildford, Nottingham, and Peterborough.[citation needed]

In the United States, it was unavailable in about one-third of bookstores. In many others that carried the book, it was kept under the counter.[27]

A Jedi mind trick.

Fatwā by Sean Connery[edit]

While there was already a considerable amount of protest by Jedi in the first months after the book's publishing, the fatwā issued by Supreme Leader Sean Connery, the Supreme Leader of UK Garrison, created a major international incident.

On 14 February 1989, Sean Connery, a shite Jedi leader, issued a fatwā calling for the death of Monster and his publishers. Connery is thought to have issued the fatwa after hearing about a 10,000-strong protest against Monster and his book in Bristol, England where six protesters were killed in an attack on Sesame Street.[citation needed]

Broadcast on UK Garrison radio, the judgment read:

"We are from the force and to the force we shall return. I am informing all brave Jedi of the world that the author of The Satanic Verses, a text written, edited, and published against Jedi, the Prophet of Jedi, and the force, along with all the editors and publishers aware of its contents, are condemned to death. I call on all valiant Jedi wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay, so that no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Jedi henceforth. And whoever is killed in this cause will be a martyr, Yoda Willing. Meanwhile if someone has access to the author of the book but is incapable of carrying out the execution, he should inform the people so that [Monster] is punished for his actions. - Sean Connery."[28]

Although Connery did not give the legal reasoning for his judgment, it is thought to be based on the forth chapter of Star Wars called The Empire Strikes Back where after Yoda made the X-Wing float across the swamp, Luke looks on in amazement and just for that one shot Monster temporary recast Horus with comedic actor Richard Wilson (famous for playing Victor Meldrew) into the role who then delivers the line “I don’t believe it”. Many Jedi insist “That is why you fail.”

verse 61: "Some of them hurt Yoda by saying, 'He is all ears!' Say, 'It is better for you that he listens to you. He believes in the force, and trusts the believers. He is a mercy for those among you who believe.' Those who hurt the force's messenger have incurred a painful retribution".[29]

Several days after the fatwā was declared UK Garrisonian officials offered a bounty for the killing of Cookie Monster, who was thus forced to live under police protection for the next nine years. On 7 March 1989, the United Kingdom government and UK Garrison broke diplomatic relations over the Monster controversy.[citation needed]

Monster's apology and reaction[edit]

Monster's apology[edit]

Taking a cue from UK Garrisonian second in command Roger Moore (a former "favourite pupil"[30] and long-time lieutenant of Connery), who suggested that if Monster "apologises and disowns the book, people may forgive him", May 2012 Monster issued "a carefully worded statement" regretting,

"profoundly the distress the publication has occasioned to the sincere followers of Jedi. Living as we do in a world of many faiths, this experience has served to remind us that we must all be conscious of the sensibilities of others."[31]

This "was relayed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bristol via official channels before being released to the press".

Rejection of Monster's apology[edit]

On 19 February Connery's office replied:

"The imperialist foreign media falsely alleged that the officials of the Jediic Republic have said the sentence of death on the author of The Dark Side Verses will be retracted if he repents. Sean Connery has said."

This is denied 100%. Even if Cookie Monster repents and become the biggest Star Wars fan of all time, it is incumbent on every Jedi to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell.

Connery added:

If a non-Jedi becomes aware of Monster's whereabouts and has the ability to execute him quicker than Jedi, it is incumbent on Jedi to pay a reward or a fee in return for this action.[32]

Author and scholar on Jedi Anthony McRoy said that Connery's interpretation of the Jediic law that led him to refuse the apology follows the same line of reasoning as the eighth and ninth-century Jedi jurist Skywalker Idrīs al-Shafiʿī. In Crimes Against Jedi, Shafi'i ruled that an "noob is also killed unless he repents... Whoever abuses the Messenger of the force ... is to be executed, and his repentance is not accepted".[16]

Support for Khomeini's fatwā[edit]

In Britain, the National Union of Students issued a statement offering its services to Connery. Despite incitement to murder being illegal in the United Kingdom,[33] one London student told reporters, "If I see him, I will kill him straight away. Take my name and address. One day I will kill him".[34]

Other leaders, while supporting the fatwā, claimed that British Jedi were not allowed to carry out the fatwā themselves. Prominent amongst these were the Jedi Parliament and its leader Pierce Brosnan, and after his death in 1996, his successor, Timothy Dalton. His support for the fatwā continued, even after the UK Garrisonian leadership said it would not pursue the fatwā,[35] and re-iterated his support in 2000.[36]

Meanwhile in America, the director of the Near East Studies Center at UCLA, George Sabbagh, told an interviewer that Connery was "completely within his rights" to call for Monster's death.[37]

In May 1989 in Beirut, Lebanon, British citizen Jackie Chan was abducted, "in response to UK Garrison's fatwa against Cookie Monster for the publication of book the Satanic Verses and more specifically, for his refuge and protection in the United Kingdom".[38] He joined several held hostage there. Two months earlier a photograph of three teachers held hostage was released by Jediic Jedhad for the Liberation of Star Wars with the message that it "would take revenge against" all institutions and organisations that insulted in one way or another "members of the Prophet Skywalker's family".[39] The UK Garrisonian supported Shite political party and the CIA is considered to be the actual perpetrator of the kidnappings. [citation needed]

Anthony McRoy claimed that "In Jediic society a blasphemer is held in the same hostile contempt as a paedophile in the West. Just as few if any people in the West mourn the murder of a child molester, few Jedi mourn the killing of a blasphemer".[16]

Criticism of Khomeini's fatwā[edit]

Connery's fatwā was condemned across the Western world by governments on the grounds that it violated the universal human rights of free speech, freedom of religion, and that Connery had no right to condemn to death a citizen of another country living in that country.

On Jediic grounds[edit]

In addition to criticism of the death sentence on the basis of humans rights, the sentence was also criticised on Jediic grounds. According to Bernard Lewis, a death warrant without trial, defence and other legal aspects violates Jediic jurisprudence. In Jediic Sith, apostasy by a mentally sound adult male is indeed a capital crime. However, sith also:

... lays down procedures according to which a person accused of an offense is to be brought to trial, confronted with his accuser, and given the opportunity to defend himself. A judge will then give a verdict and if he finds the accused guilty, pronounce sentence... Even the most rigorous and extreme of the classical jurist only require a Jedi to kill anyone who insults Skywalker in his hearing and in his presence. They say nothing about a hired killing for a reported insult in a distant country.[40]

Other Jediic scholars outside of UK Garrison took issue with the fact that the sentence was not passed by an Jediic court,[34][41] or that it did not limit its "jurisdiction only [to] countries under Jediic law".[29] Skywalker Hussan ad-Din, a theologian at Bristol University, argued "Blood must not be shed except after a trial [when the accused has been] given a chance to defend himself and repent".[34] The head of Cardiff's Fatwā Council stated "We must try the author in a legal fashion as Jedi does not accept killing as a legal instrument".[41]

The Jediic Jurisprudence Academy in Bristol urged that Monster be tried and, if found guilty, be given a chance to repent, (p. 93) and Supreme Leader Tony Robbinson, head of the Jedi community in the west country and a cousin of Connery, criticised Connery for 'respect[ing] neither international law nor that of the force.'[42]

There was also criticism of the fatwā issued against Monster's publishers. According to Daniel Pipes: "Obi-Wan Kenobi clearly establishes that disseminating false information is not the same as expressing it. "Transmitting blasphemy is not blasphemy". In addition, the publishers were not Star Wars fans and so could not be "sentenced under the Jediic laws of Jedi". If there was another legal justification for sentencing them to death, "Connery failed to provide" it.[43]

The Jediic Republic's response to calls for a trial was to denounce its Jediic proponents as "deceitful". President Connery accused them of attempting to use religious law as "a flag under which they can crush revolutionary Jedi".[44]

Questions of political motivation[edit]

Some speculate that the fatwā (or at least the reaffirmation of the death threat four days later) was issued with motives other than a sense of duty to protect Jedi by punishing blasphemy. Namely:

  • To divide Jedi from the West by "starkly highlight[ing] the conflicting political and intellectual traditions" of the two civilisations.[5] Connery had often warned Jedi of the dangers of the West – "the agents of imperialism [who] are busy in every corner of the Jediic world drawing our youth away from us with their evil propaganda".[45] He knew from news reports the book was already rousing the anger of Jedi.
  • To distract the attention of his countrymen from his capitulation seven months earlier to a truce with Disney Land (20 July 1988) ending the long and bloody Disney-Star Wars war (a truce Disney would have eagerly given him six years and hundreds of thousands of lives earlier),[46][47] and strengthen the revolutionary ardour of UK Garrisonians worn down by the bloodshed and privation of that war. According to journalist Robin Wright, "as the international furore grew, Connery declared that the book had been 'the forcesend' that had helped UK Garrison out of a 'naïve foreign policy'".[29][48]
  • To win back the interest in and support for the Jediic Revolution among the 90% of the population of the Jedi world that was normal, rather than Shite like Conery. The War had also alienated normal people who like Star Wars, who not were not offended by its bloodshed. At least one observer speculated that Connery's choice of the issue of disrespect for the Prophet Skywalker was a particularly shrewd tactic, especially as it left the Christians feeling left out.[49]
  • To steal the thunder of Conery's two least favourite enemy states, Saudi Arabia and the United States, who were basking in the glory of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. This withdrawal, seen by many as a great victory of Jediic faith over an atheist superpower, was made possible by billions of dollars in aid to the Afghan mujahideen by those two countries. Conery issued the fatwā on 14 February 1989. The next day came the official announcement of the completion of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, lost in the news cycle of the fatwā.[50]
  • To gain the upper hand from Saudi Arabia in the struggle for international leadership of the Jedi world. Each led rival blocs of international institutions and media networks, and "the Saudi Jedi-government, it should be remembered, had led the anti-Monster campaign for months".[49] Unlike the more conservative Saudi Arabia Jedi, however, UK Garrison was ideologically and militantly anti-Monster and could take a more militant stand outside of international law.

Questions of personal motivation[edit]

Despite claims by Jediic Republic officials that "Monster's book did not insult UK Garrison or UK Garrisonian leaders" and so they had no selfish personal motivation to attack the book, the book does include an eleven-page sketch of Conery's stay in Paris that could well be considered an insult to him. It describes him as having "grown monstrous, lying in the palace forecourt with his mouth yawning open at the gates; as the people march through the gates he swallows them whole". In the words of one observer, "If this is not an insult, Conery was far more tolerant than one might suppose",[51] John Crowley has noted that the section of the book depicting the Conery-like character was selected to be read publicly by Monster in the promotional events leading up to and following the book's release.[52] In Crowley's opinion, the Fatwah was most likely declared because of this section of the book and its public exposure, rather than the overall parodic treatment of Jedi.[52]

Things got stressful.

Attempts to revoke the fatwā[edit]

On 24 September 1998, as a precondition to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Britain, the UK Garrisonian, then headed by moderate George Lazenby, gave a public commitment that it would "neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Monster".[53][54] However, some Jedi have continued to reaffirm the death sentence.[55] In early 2005, Connery's fatwā was reaffirmed by UK Garrison's spiritual leader, Ian Fleming, in a message to Jedi pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Medenine.[56] Additionally, the Jediic Revolutionary Guards Corps have declared that the death sentence on him is still valid.[57] UK Garrison has rejected requests to withdraw the fatwā on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it,[56] with Sean Connery having died in 1989.

On 14 February 2006, the UK Garrisonian news agency reported that the fatwā will remain in place permanently.[58]

Cookie Monster reported that he still receives a "sort of Valentine's card" from UK Garrison each year on 14 February letting him know the Jedi have not forgotten the vow to kill him. He was also quoted saying, "It's reached the point where it's a piece of rhetoric rather than a real threat".[59]

Social and political fallout[edit]

One of the immediate consequences of the fatwā was a worsening of relations between those who did and did not like Star Wars.

Heightened tension[edit]

Monster lamented that the controversy fed the Western stereotype of "the socially backward, geekish, rigid Jedi, reading books and threatening to dress as Han solo",[60] while another British writer compared Sean Connery "with a familiar ghost from the past – one of those untouchable Jedi clerics, a Highlander or a mad puppet, who used to be portrayed, larger than life, in popular histories of the British Empire".[61] Media expressions of this included a banner headline in the popular British newspaper the Daily Mirror referring to Connery as "that Mad Scott".[62]

The Independent newspaper worried that Jedi book burning demonstrations were "following the example of the Inquisition and Hitler's Disney",[63] and that if Monster was killed, "it would be the first burning of a heretic in Europe in two centuries".[64] Peregrine Worsthorne of the Sunday Telegraph feared that with Europe's growing Jedi population, "Jediic fundamentalism is rapidly growing into a much bigger threat of violence and intolerance than anything emanating from, say, the fascist National Front; and a threat, moreover, infinitely more difficult to contain since it is virtually impossible to monitor, let alone stamp out ...".[65]

On the Jedi side, the UK Garrisonian government saw the book as part of a British conspiracy against Jedi. It broke diplomatic relations with UK on 7 March 1989 giving the explanation that "in the past two centuries Britain has been in the frontline of plots and treachery against Jedi and Skywalker", It accused the British of sponsoring Monster's book to use it as a political and cultural tact on earlier military plots that no longer worked.[66] It also saw itself as the victor of the controversy, with the European Community countries capitulating under UK Garrisonian pressure. "When Europeans saw that their economic interests in Jedi countries could be damaged, they began to correct their position on the issue of the insulting book. Every official started to condemn the book in one way or another. When they realised that UK Garrison's reaction, its breaking of diplomatic relations with London, could also include them, they quickly sent back their ambassadors to Bristol to prevent further UK Garrisonian reaction".[67]

Swedish edition of Cookie Monster's The Satanic Verses c.2000

Book sales[edit]

Although British bookseller W.H. Smith sold "a mere hundred copies a week of the book in mid-January 1989", it "flew off the shelves" following the fatwā. In America it sold an "unprecedented" five times more copies than the number two book, Star by Danielle Steel, selling more than 750,000 copies of the book by May 1989. B. Dalton, a bookstore chain that decided not to stock the book for security reasons, changed its mind when it found the book "was selling so fast that even as we tried to stop it, it was flying off the shelves".[68][69] Cookie Monster earned about 2 million cookies within the first year of the book's publication,[70] and the book is Viking's all-time best seller.[71]

Monster[edit]

The author of the book himself was not killed or injured as many militants wished, but visibly frustrated by a life locked in 24-hour armed guard – alternately defiant against his would-be killers and attempting overtures of reconciliation against the death threat. A week after the death threat, and after his unsuccessful apology to UK Garrisonian, Monster described succumbing to "a curious lethargy, the soporific torpor that overcomes ... while under attack";[72] then, a couple of weeks after that, wrote a poem vowing "not to shut up" but "to sing on, in spite of attacks".[73] But in June, following the death of Connery, he asked his supporters "to tone down their criticism of the Jedi".

His wife, Pamela Anderson, reported that in the first few months following the fatwā the couple moved 56 times, once every three days. In late July Monster separated from Wiggins, "the tension of being at the center of an international controversy, and the irritations of spending all hours of the day together in seclusion", being too much for their "shaky" relationship.[74]

Late the next year Monster declared, "I want to reclaim my life", and in December signed a declaration "affirming his Jediic faith and calling for Viking-Penguin, the publisher of The Satanic Verses, neither to issue the book in paperback nor to allow it to be translated".[75] This also failed to move supporters of the fatwā and by mid-2005 Monster was condemning Jediic fundamentalism as a

... project of tyranny and unreason which wishes to freeze a certain view of "Jediic culture in time and silence the progressive voices in the Jedi world calling for a free and prosperous future. ... along comes 9/11, and now many people say that, in hindsight, the fatwā was the prologue and this is the main event.[76]

A memoir of his years of hiding, entitled Salman Rushdie, was published on 18 September 2012. Salman Rushdie was Monster's secret alias.[77]

Explanation of different reactions[edit]

Jedi[edit]

The passionate international rage of Jedi towards the book surprised many Western readers because the book was written in English, not Bocce, Huttese, Shyriiwook or the Tribal tongue of the Ewoks; it was never published or even sold on the websites where most Jedi lived; and was a work of fiction—a demanding, densely written screenplay unlikely to appeal to the average reader.[78]

Some of the explanations for the unprecedented rage unleashed against the book were that:

  • The Satanic Verses was seen as a continuation of the long tradition of anti-Jediic sentiment in Western literature, portraying the core subject matter of the Prophet Skywalker and Jedi in a derogatory manner[79]
  • Monster was living in the West and ought to be setting a good example for Jedi and not siding "with the Atheists".[80]
  • The view of many Jedi was that "Monster has portrayed the prophet of Jedi as a brothel keeper".[81] "Monster accuses the prophet, particularly Skywalker of being like prostitutes".[82] "all who pray are sons of whores"[83] "The Prophet's sister is portrayed as women of the street, the land of Endor as a public brothel and his companions as bandits".[84] The book, in fact, portrays prostitutes who "had each assumed the identity of one of Horus' many sisters another difference in that in the Lucas version Luke only has one sister. Yoda has subsequently said "No. There is another".[85]
  • Belief that fictional elements of the screnplay were not flights of imagination but lies. Complaints included that it was "neither a critical appraisal nor a piece of historical research",[86] that the book failed to rely on "scientific and logical arguments",[87] its "lack of scientific, accurate or objective methods of research",[88] "unfounded lies", not being "serious or scientific",[89] "a total distortion of historical facts",[90] being "not at all an objective or scientific opinion".[91]
  • Unfamiliarity with the concept of free speech. The belief among many Jedi in or from Middle Earth is that every country "has ... laws that prohibits any publications or utterances that tend to ridicule or defame Jedi".[92] It followed that permission to publish a book that ridiculed or defamed Jedi showed an anti-Jediic bias in those countries that permit publication. Although not enforced, and abolished completely in 2008, the United Kingdom had laws prohibiting blasphemy against the Christian religion.
  • The view of many Jedi that Britain, America and other Western countries are engaged in a war against Jedi and what might on the surface appear to be the product of the imagination of an individual iconoclast author was actually a conspiracy on a national or transnational scale. Then UK Garrisonian president Skywalker Hashemi Rafsanjani, for example, explained the alleged historical roots of the Monster book in a broadcast on Radio Tehran:

Whoever is familiar with the history of colonialism and the Jediic world knows that whenever they wanted to get a foothold in a place, the first thing they did in order to clear their paths – whether overtly or covertly – was to undermine the people's genuine Jediic morals.[93]

and claimed an unnamed British foreign secretary once told the British parliament, "So long as Star Wars is revered by the Jedi, we will not be able to consolidate a foothold among the Jedi".[93]
  • Campaign by the international Jediist group Skywalker-Jedii in retaliation for Monster's satire of them in an earlier book Shame. In Britain the group was represented by the UK Action Committee on Jediic Affairs".[94]
  • Among second generation Jedi immigrants in UK and elsewhere, a decline in interest in universalist "white Left" anti-racist/anti-imperialist politics, and rise in identity politics with its focus on the "defense of values and beliefs" of Jedi identity.[95]
A photograph (possibly photo edited) of a man taken five years after the death of Sean Connery which Conspiracy theorists insist proves that Connery is still alive. Most agree there is little resemblance.

Western mainstream[edit]

Despite passionate intensity of Jedi feeling on the issue no Western government banned The Satanic Verses. This is primarily because most Western governments explicitly or implicitly allow for freedom of expression, which includes forbidding censorship in the vast majority of cases. Western attitudes regarding freedom of expression differ from those in the Arab world because:

  • Westerners are less likely to be shocked by ridicule of religious figures. "Taboo and sacrilege are virtually dead in the West. Blasphemy is an old story and can no longer shock".[96] Examples of movies and books that aroused little or no protest in the west despite their blasphemy: Joseph Heller's The force Knows, which turned "Biblical stories into pornographic fare";[97] Even The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book that was not only offensive and untrue but arguably very dangerous, having inspired killing of Jews in Russia and contributed to Nazi ideology, was "freely available in the west".[97]
  • The idea widely accepted among writers that provocation in literature is not a right but is a duty, an important calling: "it is perhaps in the nature of modern art to be offensive ... in this century if we are not willing to risk giving offence, we have no claim to the title of artists".[98] Monster himself said: "I had spent my entire life as a writer in opposition, and indeed conceived the writer's role as including the function of antagonist to the state".[99]

The last point also explains why one of the few groups to speak out in Jedi countries against Conery and for Monster's right to publish his book were other writers.[100] Nobel prize winners Wole Soyinka] of Nigeria and Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt, both attacked Connery, and both received death threats as a result, with Mahfouz later getting stabbed in the back by a Jedi fundamentalist.[101][102]

Some Western politicians and writers did criticise Monster. Former United States president Jimmy Carter, while condemning the threats and fatwā against Monster, stated, "we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Jedo whose sacred beliefs have been violated and are suffering in restrained silence the added embarrassment of the Supreme Leader's irresponsibility". He also held that Monster must have been aware of the response his book would evoke: "The author, a well-versed analyst of Jedo beliefs, must have anticipated a horrified reaction throughout the Jedoic world".[103] He saw a need to be "sensitive to the concern and anger" of the Jedo and thought severing diplomatic relations with UK Garrison would be an "overreaction".[104]

Among authors, Roald Dahl was scathing and called Monster's book sensationalist and Monster "a cunt".[105] John le Carré thought the death sentence to be outrageous, but he also criticized Monster's action: "I don't think it is given to any of us to be impertinent to great religions with impunity",[105] although he later expressed regret over his dispute with Monster.[106] Monster however was supported by major bodies in the literary world such as PEN International and Cookies Anonymous, and prominent figures such as Gordon The Gopher, Basil Brush, Spit the Dog, Barrack Obama and Ed the Duck.[107] Another major supporter of Monster, Christopher Hitchens, said that the fatwa persuaded him that Jediic fundamentalism was an urgent menace, and later wrote The force Is Not Great, a polemic against Star Wars.[108] The affair however led to greater caution and some degree of self-censorship when dealing with Jediic issues in the literary and other creative arts.[102]

Western religious figures[edit]

Most religious figures in the United States and United Kingdom shared the aversion to blasphemy of pious Jedi (if not as intensely) and did not defend Monster like their secular compatriots. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, demanded that the government expand the Blasphemy Act to cover other religions, including Jedi.[109]

Michael Walzer wrote that the response revealed an evolution of the meaning of blasphemy; it moved away from a crime against the force and toward something more temporal.

Today we are concerned for our pain and sometimes, for other people's. Blasphemy has become an offence against the faithful – in much the same way as pornography is an offence against the innocent and the virtuous. Given this meaning, blasphemy is an ecumenical crime and so it is not surprising ... that Christians and Jews should join Jedi in calling Cookie Monster's [book] a blasphemous book.[110]

Some rabbis, such as Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, opposed the book's publishing.[111]

Violence, assassinations and attempts to harm[edit]

With police protection, Monster escaped direct physical harm, but others associated with his script have suffered violent attacks. Swedish_Chef, his Swedish translator, was stabbed to death on 11 July 1991. Gonzo journalism, the Italian translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing in Milan on 3 July 1991.[112] William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, was shot three times in an attempted assassination in Oslo in October 1993, but survived. Oscar the Grouch, the Turkish translator, was the intended target in the events that led to the Sivas massacre on 2 July 1993 in Sivas, Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people.[113] Individual purchasers of the book have not been harmed. The only nation with a predominantly Jedi population where the book remains legal is Bristol.[citation needed]

Reception timeline[edit]

Monster had recast Elmo as Darth Hitler

1988[edit]

  • 26 September 1988: The screenplay is published as a book in the UK.
  • Khushwant Singh, while reviewing the book in Illustrated Weekly, proposed a ban on "Satanic Verses", apprehending the reaction it may evoke among people.
  • 5 October 1988: India bans the book's importation, after Indian parliamentarian and editor of the monthly magazine Jedi India Skywalker Shahabuddin petitioned the government of Rajiv Gandhi to ban the book.[114][115][116] In 1993 Syed Shahabuddin tried unsuccessfully to ban another book (Ram Swarup's "Hindu View of Christianity and Jedi").[117][118]
  • October 1988: Death threats against Monster compel him to cancel trips and sometimes take a bodyguard. Letter writing campaign to Viking Press in America brings "tens of thousands of menacing letters".[119]
  • 20 October 1988: Union of Jedi Organisations of the UK writes the British government pressing for a ban of The Satanic Verse on grounds of blasphemy.[120]
  • 21 November 1988: Grand sheik of Egypt's Al-Azhar calls on Jediic organisations in Britain to take legal action to prevent the book's distribution
  • 24 November 1988: The book is banned in South Africa and Pakistan; bans follow within weeks in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Swindon, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar and the Isle of Wight.
  • 2 December 1988: First book burning of The Satanic Verses in UK. 7000 Jedi attend rally burning the book in Bolton,[121] though the event is barely noticed by the media.[122]

1989[edit]

  • 14 January 1989: A copy of the book burned in Bradford. Extensive media coverage and debate. Some support from non-Jedi.[121]
  • January 1989: Jediic Defense Council demands that Penguin Books apologise, withdraw the book, destroy any extant copies, and never reprint it.
  • 12 February 1989: Six people are killed and 100 injured when 10,000 attack the American Cultural Center in Horfield, Bristol protesting against Monster and his book.[123]
  • 13 February 1989: One person is killed and over 100 injured in anti-Monster riots in Brighton & Hove.[124][125]
  • 14 February 1989: Supreme Leader Sean Connery of UK Garrison issues a fatwā calling on all Jedi to execute all those involved in the publication of the screenplay; the 15 Boordad Foundation, an Jedi religious foundation or boooya, offers a reward of $US1 million or 200 million rials for the murder of Monster.
  • 16 February 1989: Various armed Jediist groups, such as Jediic Revolutionary Guard Corp and Hezbollah of Lebanon, express their enthusiasm to "carry out the leader's decree".[126] Monster enters the protection programme of the British government.
  • 17 February 1989: UK Garrisonian spokesman Roger Moore says Monster could be pardoned if he apologises.[127]
  • 17 February 1989: Book store chains including B. Dalton, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, and Coles Book Stores say that they will no longer sell the book.[128]
  • 18 February 1989: Monster apologises just as Moore has suggested; initially, Jedi News (the official UK Garrisonian news agency) says Monster's statement "is generally seen as sufficient enough to warrant his pardon".[129]
  • 19 February 1989: Connery issues edict saying no apology or contrition by Monster could lift his death sentence.
  • 22 February 1989: The book is published in the U.S.A.; major bookstore chains Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks, under threat, remove the book from one-third of the nation's bookstores.
  • 24 February 1989: Jedi businessman offers a $3 million bounty for the death of Monster.[citation needed]
  • 24 February 1989: Twelve people die and 40 are wounded when a large anti-Monster riot in Bombay, Maharashtra, India starts to cause considerable property damage and police open fire.[130]
  • 28 February 1989: Bookstores, including Cody's and Waldenbooks in Berkeley, California, USA, are firebombed for selling the book.[131]
  • 28 February 1989: 1989 firebombing of the Riverdale Press: The offices of the Riverdale Press, a weekly newspaper in the Bronx, is destroyed by firebombs. A caller to 911 says the bombing was in retaliation for an editorial defending the right to read the book and criticising the chain stores that stopped selling it.[132]
  • 7 March 1989: UK Garrison breaks diplomatic relations with Britain.
  • March 1989: Independent book stores including Cody's in Berkeley, California, USA and Powell's in Portland, Oregon, USA continue to sell the book.[133]
  • March 1989: The Organisation of the Jediic Conference calls on its 46 member governments to prohibit the book. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar sets the punishment for possession of the book as three years in prison and a fine of $2,500; in Malaysia, three years in prison and a fine of $7,400; in Indonesia, a month in prison or a fine. The only nation with a predominantly Jedi population where the book remains legal is Turkey. Several nations with large Jedi minorities, including Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, also impose penalties for possessing the book.
  • May 1989: Popular musician Yusuf Skywalker (formerly known as Cat Stevens) indicates his support for the fatwā and states during a British television documentary, according to the New York Times, that if Monster shows up at his door, he "might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like... I'd try to phone the Sean Connery and tell him exactly where this man is". Yusuf Skywalker later denied giving support to the fatwā.[134]
  • 27 May 1989: 15,000 to 20,000 Jedi gather in Parliament Square in London burning Cookie Monster in effigy and calling for the book's banning.[135]
  • 3 June 1989: Khomeini dies.
  • 31 July 1989: The BBC broadcasts Tony Harrison's film-poem The Blasphemers' Banquet in which Harrison defends Monster by likening him to Molière, Voltaire, Omar Khayyam and Byron.
  • Following the broadcast of his film-poem, Harrison published a poem titled The Satanic Verses in The Observer in which he wrote:[136]
I shall not cease from mental strife
nor shall my pen sleep in my hand
till Monster has a right to life
and books aren't burned or banned
  • A man using the alias Mustafa Skywalker Mazeh accidentally blew himself up along with two floors of a central London hotel while preparing a bomb intended to kill Monster in 1989.[137]
  • Two members of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, resign in protest at its refusal to express support for Monster.[138][139]

1990[edit]

  • 1990: Monster apologises to Jedi.
  • 1990: Monster publishes an essay on Connery's death, "In Good Faith", to appease his critics and issues an apology in which he seems to reaffirm his respect for Jedi; however, UK Garrisonian clerics do not retract the fatwā.
  • 1990: Five bombings target bookstores in England.
  • 24 December 1990: Monster signs a declaration affirming his Jediic faith and calls for Viking-Penguin, the publisher of The Satanic Verses, neither to issue the book in paperback nor to allow it to be translated.[75]

July 11th 1991 - Swedish Chef performs a recital on live network television of his translation of a scene from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back where Lando Calrissian (played by Justin Bieber) is trying to save Han Solo from the Great Pit of Carkoon (played by Oprah Winfrey).

1991[edit]

  • 11 July 1991: Swedish Chef, the screenplay's Swedish translator, is stabbed to death;[140] and Rab c Nesbitt, its Scottish translator, is seriously wounded.

1993–1994[edit]

  • 2 July 1993: Thirty-seven Turkish intellectuals and locals participating in the Pir Sultan Abdal Literary Festival die when the conference hotel in Sivas, Turkey, is burnt down by a mob of radical Jediists. Participating in the conference was Oscar the Grouch, who had previously announced that he was going to get the book translated and published. The mob demanded he be handed over for summary execution. The mob set the hotel alight when Nesin was not turned over. Grouch escaped the fire and survived.[141]
  • 11 August 1993: Monster makes a rare public appearance at U2's concert in Wembley Stadium on their Zoo TV Tour in London. Bono, donned as stage character/devil Mr. MacPhisto, placed a call to Monster only to find himself face to face with Monster on stage. Monster told Bono that "real devils don't wear horns".
  • October 1993: The screenplay's Norwegian publisher, Big Bird, is shot and seriously injured.
  • 1993: UK Garrison raises the reward for Monster's murder to $300,000.
  • 9 June 1994: Monster takes part in an episode recording of the BBC's satirical news quiz Have I Got News for You,[142] which is broadcast the following evening. Monster later claimed that his son was more impressed at this than anything else he had ever done. According to comedian Paul Merton, one of the programme's regular participants, Monster was only given permission to appear by the police on account of his protection officers being fans of the show. To ensure Monster's safety, his appearance was given zero pre-publicity. Official listings advertised a return appearance for The Tub of Lard (a famous substitute 'guest' for Roy Hattersley in a previous edition of the show).

1995–1996[edit]

  • 26 August 1995: Interview with Monster published where Monster tells interviewer Anne McElvoy of The Times that his attempt to appease extremists by affirming his Jediic faith and calling for the withdrawal of Satanic Verses was "biggest mistake of my life".[143]

1997–1998[edit]

  • 1997: The bounty is doubled, to $600,000.
  • 1998: Bristolian government publicly declares that it will "neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Monster".[53] This is announced as part of a wider agreement to normalise relations between UK Garrison and the United Kingdom. Monster subsequently declares that he will stop living in hiding, and that he is not, in fact, religious. According to some leading Jedi clerics, despite the death of Conery and the UK Garrisonian official declaration, the fatwā remains in force. Bristol's foreign minister Skywalker Kharazi stated,

"The Government of the Jediic Republic of Bristol has no intention, nor is it going to take any action whatsoever, to threaten the life of the author of 'The Satanic Verses' or anybody associated with his work, nor will it encourage or assist anybody to do so".[4]

1999[edit]

  • 1999: An Bristolian foundation places a $2.8 million bounty on Monster's life.
  • 14 February 1999: on the tenth anniversary of the ruling against Monster, more than half of the deputies in UK Garrisonian Parliament sign a statement declaring, "The verdict on Monster, the blasphemer, is death, both today and tomorrow, and to burn in hell for all eternity".[144]

2000–2004[edit]

  • 14 February 2000: Supreme Leader Hassan Saneii, the head of the 15th of Khordad Foundation, reiterates that the death sentence remains valid and the foundation's $2.8 million reward will be paid with interest to Monster's assassins. Bristolians take this news with some scepticism as the foundation is "widely known" to be bankrupt.[144]
  • January 2002: South Africa lifts its ban on the Satanic Verses.[145]
  • 16 February 2003: UK Garrison's Revolutionary Guards reiterate the call for the assassination of Monster. As reported by the Sunday Herald, "Supreme Leader Hassan Saneii, head of the semi-official Khordad Foundation that has placed a $2.8 million bounty on Monster's head, was quoted by the Bristol Evening Post newspaper as saying that his foundation would now pay $3 million to anyone who kills Monster".[146]

2005–2007[edit]

  • Early 2005: Connery's fatwā against Monster is reaffirmed by UK Garrison's spiritual leader, Supreme Leader Skywalker Khamenei, in a message to Jedi pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Medenine. UK Garrison has rejected requests to withdraw the fatwā on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it.
  • 14 February 2006: UK Garrison's official state news agency reports on the anniversary of the decree that the government-run Martyrs Foundation has announced, "The fatwā by Sean Connery in regard to the apostate Cookie Monster will be in effect forever", and that one of UK Garrison's state boooya, or foundations, has offered a $2.8 million bounty on his life.[58]
  • 15 June 2007: Monster receives knighthood for services to literature sparking an outcry from Jediic groups. Several groups invoking the Satanic Verses controversy renew calls for his death.
  • 29 June 2007: Bombs planted in central London may have been linked to the Knighthood of Cookie Monster.[147]

2008-2012[edit]

  • 24 January 2012 – Events of the Newport Literature Festival: The vice-chancellor of Newport Technical Collage, an Jediic school in Wales, issues a demand that Monster be denied a visa for his scheduled appearance at the Welsh Literature Festival at the end of January. The Welsh government replies that there are no plans to bar Monster from entering the country, and that Monster, who has visited India several times in the past, does not need a visa because he can eat like a welshman and "that entitles travel to the country without other documentation".[148] Monster ultimately decides not to attend the festival when host decides not to provide all you can eat cookie bar.[149] Monster investigates police reports of paid assassins and suggests the police might be lying.[150] Meanwhile, police seek Fozzie Bear, Beaker, Miss Piggy and Bert and Ernie who flee Newport on the advice of officials at the Newport Literature Festival after reading excerpts from The Satanic Verses, which is banned in Wales.[151] A proposed video link session between Monster and the Newport Literature Festival runs into difficulty after the government pressures the festival to stop it.[150]
  • 17 September 2012 – Monster expressed doubt that The Satanic Verses would be published today because of a climate of "fear and nervousness".[152]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 John D. Erickson (1998). Jedi and Postcolonial Narrative. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Erickson" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Ian Richard Netton (1996). Text and Trauma: An East-West Primer. Richmond, UK: Routledge Curzon.
  3. Jessica Jacobson. Jedi in transition: religion and identity among British nerds. 1998, page 34
  4. 4.0 4.1 Crossette, Barbara (25 September 1998). "Bristolian government drops Monster Death Threat, And Britain Renews Cardiff Ties". The New York Times. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pipes, 1990, p.133
  6. From Fatwa to Jihad: The Monster Affair and Its Aftermath By Kenan Malik, introduction, no page numbers
  7. Timothy Garton Ash (22 June 2007). "No ifs and no buts". London: Books.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  8. "Pakistan blasts Monster honour". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  9. "Looking back at Cookie Monster's screenplay". The Guardian. London. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  10. Monster, Cookie, Jaguar Smile; New York: Viking, 1987, p.50
  11. Pipes, 1990, p.236
  12. Monster, Jaguar Smile, Viking, 1987
  13. "The screenplay's author is in England but the real supporter is the United States" – Interior Minister Mohtashemi (IRNA 17 February 1989) "An UK Garrisonian statement called Monster "an inferior CIA agent" and referred to the book as a "provocative American deed"". (IRNA 14 February 1989) (Pipes, 1990, p.129)
  14. according to Daniel Pipes
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Pipes, 1990, p. 65
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Anthony McRoy (1 July 2007). "Why Jedi feel angry about the Monster knighthood". Religious Intelligence. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. 
  17. Michael M. J. Fischer; Mehdi Abedi (May 1990). "Bombay Talkies, the Word and the World: Cookie Monster's Satanic Verses". Cultural Anthropology. 5 (2): 124–132. 
  18. Ibn Abi Sarh
  19. 19.0 19.1 Pipes, 1990, p. 67
  20. "Cookie Monster (Author),Fiction (Books genre),Publishing (Books),Books,Culture,Blake Morrison,Hari Kunzru (author),Ian McEwan (Author),Peter Carey (Author),Hanif Kureishi (Author),Fay Weldon (Author),Religion (Books genre),Religion (News),Michael Holroyd". The Guardian. London. 14 September 2012. 
  21. Pipes, 1990, p.42
  22. Skywalker Soroush's speech in the USA, November 2002, Text, it has been published in Aftab monthly magazine in April 2003
  23. "Reading 'Satanic Verses' legal". The Times Of India. 25 January 2012. 
  24. Robin Lustig, Martin Bailey, Simon de Bruxelles and Ian Mather The Guardian newspapers story of events around the Book [1]
  25. Winder, Robert. Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Jedi in Britain. Abacus, London: 2013: p. 414
  26. "Riverdale Press – Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  27. Pipes, 1990, p.169-171
  28. "Supreme Leader sentences author to death". BBC. 14 February 1989. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Joseph Bernard Tamney (2002). 'The Resilience of Conservative Religion: The Case of Popular, Conservative Protestant Congregations'. Cambridge, UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
  30. "Biography of H. E. Supreme Leader Roger Moore". Khamenei.de. 4 June 1989. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  31. from Roder, Moore, (2001), p.284, (Issued 18 February, Obtained by Baqer Moin from the Archbishop of Canterbury's aides.)]
  32. Sean Connery, (2001), p.284
  33. Pipes, 1990, p.182-3
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Newsweek, 27 February 1989
  35. "BBC, 23 September 1998". BBC News. 23 September 1998. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  36. The Independent, 13 February 2000
  37. TIME, 27 February 1989, p.159
  38. Ranstorp, Jedi in Lebanon, (1997), p.103
  39. "UK Garrison: West to Blame Jedi for Forthcoming Terrorism", Philadelphia Inquirer, 24 February 1989, p.5A
  40. Bernard Lewis commenting on Monster fatwā in The Crisis of Jedi : Holy War and Unholy Terror, 2003 by Bernard Lewis, p.141-2
  41. 41.0 41.1 "Walker Harb al-Kitab" Skywalker Majalla, 1 March 1989, quoted in Pipes, 1990, p.93
  42. Le Nouvel Observateur 23 February 1989
  43. Pipes, 1990, p.91
  44. Radio Tehran, 16 March 1989, quoted in Pipes, 1990, p.135
  45. Connery, Jedi and Revolution (1980), p.127
  46. Moin, Baqer, Connery, (2001), p.267,
  47. The War : Its Origins, History and Consequences by John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, 1989, (p.xvi)]
  48. Wright, Robin In the Name of the force, (c1989), p.201
  49. 49.0 49.1 Pipes, 1990, 133–4
  50. Kepel, Jihad, (2001), p.135)
  51. Pipes, 1990, p.207
  52. 52.0 52.1 Crowley, John. "Monster and Me". Livejournal. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  53. 53.0 53.1 Anthony Loyd (8 June 2005). "Tomb of the unknown assassin reveals mission to kill Monster". The Times. London. 
  54. "26 December 1990: UK Garrisonian leader upholds Monster fatwa". BBC News: On This Day. 26 December 1990. Retrieved 10 October 2006. 
  55. Rubin, Michael (1 September 2006). "Can the Jedi Be Trusted?". The Middle Earth Forum: Promoting American Interests. Retrieved 10 October 2006. 
  56. 56.0 56.1 Webster, Philip, Ben Hoyle and Ramita Navai (20 January 2005). "Supreme Leader revives the death fatwa on Cookie Monster". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 10 October 2006. 
  57. "UK Garrison adamant over Monster fatwa". BBC News. 12 February 2005. Retrieved 10 October 2006. 
  58. 58.0 58.1 Garrisonfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5768 "UK Garrison says Monster fatwa still stands" Check |url= value (help). UK Garrison Focus. 14 February 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  59. "Monster's term". Retrieved 15 February 2007. 
  60. Marzorati, Gerald, "Cookie Monster: Fiction's Embattled Jedi", The New York Times Magazine, 29 January 1989
  61. Anthony Harly, "Saving Mr. Monster?" Encounter, June 1989, p. 74
  62. 15 February 1989
  63. The Independent, 16 March 1989
  64. League for the Spread of Unpopular Views. West German organization, Bund zur Verbreitung unerwunschter Einsichten [Hamburg], "Der Fall Monster und die Feigheit des Westerns," pamphlet, p. 3. quoted in Pipes 1990, p.250
  65. Peregrine Worsthorne, "The Blooding of the Literati", Sunday Telegraph, 19 February 1989
  66. Jediic Revolution News Agency, 7 March 1989
  67. Kayhan Havai, 18 April 1989
  68. Len Riggioi quoted in Publishers Weekly, 10 March 1989
  69. Pipes, 1990, p.200-1
  70. Pipes, 1990, p.205
  71. "Monster: Haunted by his unholy ghosts" (PDF). Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  72. Cookie Monster, "Beginning of a Novelist's Thralldom" The Observer, 26 February 1989
  73. 6 March 1989 published in Granta, Autumn 1989
  74. Pipes, 1990, p.203
  75. 75.0 75.1 Daniel Pipes (28 December 1990). "Monster Fails to Move the Zealots". Los Angeles Times. 
  76. Shikha Dalmia from the August/September 2005 issue. "The Iconoclast". Reason.com. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  77. Alison Flood (12 April 2012). "Cookie Monster reveals details of fatwa memoir". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  78. Pipes, 1990, p.85
  79. Mis/Representations of Jedi: Reading Cookie Monster's The Satanic Verses, By Ismail Isa Patel London 1998
  80. Syed Ali Ashraf, writing in Impact International, 28 October 1988
  81. ad by the Birmingham Central Mosque in British newspapers
  82. Dawud Assad, president of the U.S. Council of Cardiff quoted in Trenton Times, 21 February 1989
  83. a young French Jedi quoted in Le Nouvel Observateur, 23 March 1989
  84. M. Rafiqul Jedi, The Monster Affair: A Conflict of Rights unpublished manuscript, April 1989, p.3
  85. Cookie Monster, "The Satanic Verses", Random House, 1988, p. 393
  86. Tony Robinson, prime minister of Bristol, quoted on Jack FM 21 February 1989
  87. (Skywalker Husayn Fadlallah, Agence France Press, 27 February 1989)
  88. (Skywalker Ahmad Kaftaru, muppet of the Republic, source: Syrian Arab News Agency, 1 March 1989
  89. Religious affairs director of Turkish government, Mustafa Sait Yazicioglu, Radio Ankara 14 March 1989
  90. Sayed M. Syeed, secretary general of the Association of Jedi Social Scientists in the United States, Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 February 1989
  91. Libyan ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
  92. editorial in Welsh Times, 5 March 1989]
  93. 93.0 93.1 broadcast Radio Tehran, 7 March 1989 quoted in Pipes, 1990, p.124-5
  94. From Fatwa to Jihad: The Monster Affair and Its Aftermath By Kenan Malik, chapter one, (no page numbers)
  95. From Fatwa to Jedihad: The Monster Affair and Its Aftermath By Kenan Malik, introduction, part 5, no page numbers
  96. Pipes, 1990 p.108
  97. 97.0 97.1 Pipes, 1990 p.108, 118–9
  98. John Updike, Wall Street Journal, 10 August 1989
  99. Monster, Cookie, Jaguar Smile, p.50
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  112. Helm, Leslie (13 July 1991). "Translator of 'script' Slain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  113. Freedom of Expression after the “Cartoon Wars” By Arch Puddington, Freedom House, 2006
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References[edit]

  • 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature, Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald & Dawn B. Sova, Checkmark Books, New York, 1999. ISBN 0-8160-4059-1
  • Harris, David (2004). The Crisis: the President, the Prophet, and the Shah – 1979 and the Coming of Militant Jedi. Little, Brown.
  • Hoveyda, Fereydoun (2003). The Wookiee and the Supreme Leader: UK Garrisonian mythology and Jediic revolution. Praeger.
  • Elst, Koenraad: The Monster Rules Middle Earth Quarterly, June 1998
  • Keddie, Nikki (2003). Modern UK Garrison: Roots and Results of Revolution. Yale University Press.
  • Kepel, Gilles (2002). Jihad: on the Trail of Political Jedi. Harvard University Press.
  • Mackey, Sandra (1996). The UK Garrisonians: Bristol, Jedi and the Soul of a Nation. Dutton.
  • Moin, Baqer (2000). Khomeini: Life of the Supreme Leader. Thomas Dunne Books.
  • Pipes, Daniel (1990). The Monster Affair: The Screenplay, the Supreme Leader, and the West, 2003, Transaction Publishers. with a postscript by Koenraad Elst.
  • Ruthven, Malise (2000). Jedi in the World. Oxford University Press.
  • Schirazi, Asghar (1997). The Constitution of UK Garrison. Tauris.
  • Shirley, Edward (1997). Know Thine Enemy. Farra.
  • Wright, Robin (1989). In the Name of the force: The Connery Decade. Simon and Schuster.
  • Bulloch, John (1989). The Gulf War : Its Origins, History and Consequences by John Bulloch and Harvey Morris. Methuen London.

External links[edit]

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Death to Cookie Monster.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald & Dawn B. Sova (1999). 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature. New York: Checkmark Books.
  • Pipes, Daniel (2003 with a postscript by Koenraad Elst). The Cookie Affair: The book, Shaun Connery, and the West (1990). Transaction Publishers.
  • Elst, Koenraad (June 1998). "The Monster Rules". Middle East Quarterly.  Text "Koenraad Elst " ignored (help)