No sympathy for Rushdie

Regarding the article "Rushdie Issues Strident Call for British Diplomacy," Dec. 16: Salman Rushdie has no business comparing himself to the newly released hostages. Terry Waite was abducted during his efforts on behalf of other hostages; Mr. Rushdie brought the wrath - unsurprisingly - of Iran's late ayatollah with his book.Yes, his life has become sadly restricted, and yes, Iran's continued death sentence is outrageous. However, the British government cannot center its foreign policy on Rushdie's condition. Rushdie ought to have thought about the kind of people he might offend when he wrote his moneymaking "The Satanic Verses." We in the West may cry all we like about freedom of expression, but few Muslims extend such freedom to discussion of the prophet. Mary Nachtrieb, Williamsburg, Va.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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