Students and teachers of Peshawar University are agitated over the inclusion of two books of Salman Rushdie — Midnight's Children and Shame – in M.Phil and Ph.D courses offered by the Department of English.
Describing Mr. Rushdie as a “blasphemer'' students have planned protests against this decision, The News reported. Over a month ago, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan had refused to attend a conclave in India because he would have had to share a platform with Mr. Rushdie.
In a related development earlier this year, efforts by the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Government to change the school textbooks of history and Islamic Studies had to be shelved after some religious Right-wing organisations objected to the move. The provincial government had sought to revise these textbooks in the hope of addressing the fundamental cause for religious extremism in the province but had to step back in view of the protests.