news Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | January 8, 2015 | 12:03 pm IST 

The brutal assault on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper in Paris, on Wednesday has been garnering condemnation from across the world.  

Renowned author Salman Rushdie too has spoken out about the cowardly attack. 

Read: These are some of the cartoons by journalists at Charlie Hebdo

In the statement, which has been published by English PEN, Rushdie writes:

'Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This 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. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.

Read: 16 cartoons that show exactly how the world feels about Charlie Hebdo attack

English PEN is the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries. It campaigns to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk.

Also read: Charlie Hebdo attack: BSP leader ready to give Rs 51 crores as award to attackers

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