Sir Salman Rushdie 2.0

I wrote here that
I'm sure that the FCO and Cabinet Office would have considered the impact that this knighthood would have
and it turns out I'm completely wrong, as the Guardian reports:
It emerged today that the government arts committee that recommended the knighthood did not discuss any possible political ramifications, and reportedly never imagined that the award would provoke the furious response that it has done in parts of the Muslim world.
The one good thing about this apparent, er, oversight is that it kicks the stool from under those in Iran who that this was a calculated insult to them - it wasn't calculated at all.

What role should politics play in awards, honours and decorations? Should we be able to recognise the great if not necessarily good - as in the Nobel Peace Prizes that went to Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev and Yasser Arafat? While I am prepared to accept that good came of Gorbachev, for instance, I'm not sure at all that it was deliberate, given that he wanted to open communism enough to guarantee its survival. I'm not sure I agree with sport being 'beyond politics' - viz., the South African sports boycott - and so the same applies here. Ultimately, for literary accolades at least, the determination should be done on the basis of someone's writing.

Does anyone know what awards Iran gives out and who has received them?



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