Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.
I have condemned Khomeini's fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie as a breach of international relations and as an assault on Islam as we know it in the era of apostasy. I believe that the wrong done by Khomeini towards Islam and the Muslims is no less than that done by the author himself. As regards freedom of expression, I have said that it must be considered sacred and that thought can only be corrected by counter-thought. During the debate, I supported the boycott of the book as a means of maintaining social peace, granted that such a decision would not be used as a pretext to constrain thought.
I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?
I went to England in the '70s, and I was in my early 20s. There was still a residue of that era of being an underclass or colonial. I assume it must have been a more aggressive and prominent attitude 40 years before that, because Australia internationally wasn't regarded as having much cultural value. We were a country full of sheep and convicts.