Salman Rushdie Quotes

Most popular Salman Rushdie Quotes

It's no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with or to whose opinion you are indifferent. The defense of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can't stand.
— Salman Rushdie

freedom of speech freedom

What is freedom of expression?  Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

freedom of speech freedom censorship

What can't be cured must be endured.
— Salman Rushdie

courage

Freedom to reject is the only freedom.

freedom

No story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old.

stories

A figure of speech is a shifty thing; it can be twisted or it can be straight.

figurative language

There is no magic on earth strong enough to wipe out the legacies of one's parents.

parents

A book is a version of the world.  If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.

books

Bread and books: food for the body and food for the soul—what could be more worthy of our respect, and even love?

books

An attack upon our ability to tell stories is not just censorship—it is a crime against our nature as human beings.
— Salman Rushdie

censorship

But names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.

habit names

The enemy for the fanatic is pleasure, which makes it extremely important to continue to indulge in pleasure.  Dance madly.  That is how you get rid of terrorism.
— Salman Rushdie

fanaticism pleasure

Live on, survive, for the earth gives forth wonders. It may swallow your heart, but the wonders keep on coming. You stand before them bareheaded, shriven. What is expected of you is attention.

wonder

English, no longer an English language, now grows from many roots; and those whom it once colonized are carving out large territories within the language for themselves.  The Empire is striking back.

English

Rage made you the creature of those who enraged you, it gave them too much power.  Rage killed the mind, and now more than ever the mind needed to live, to find a way of rising above the mindlessness.

rage

Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other's positions. (But they don't shoot.)
— Salman Rushdie

democracy

At Cambridge I was taught a laudable method of argument: you never personalize, but you have absolutely no respect for people's opinions. You are never rude to the person, but you can be savagely rude about what the person thinks.
— Salman Rushdie

arguments

The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it's a belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.
— Salman Rushdie

freedom ideas open-mindedness

The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it's a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.
— Salman Rushdie

satire

Religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.  I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.
— Salman Rushdie

satire