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Salman Rushdie
1947 -

Author of several novels and works of fiction including Midnight's Children (1980) and The Satanic Verses (1989). He is best known for the controversy surrounding the latter novel, which was banned in India in 1989. It incited the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a 'fatwah' against Rushdie's work, deeming it and its author as enemies of the Koran and issuing a price for Rushdie's death that required him to hide with police protection for years afterward.


... the worst, most insidious effect of censorship is that, in the end, it can deaden the imagination of the people. Where there is no debate, it is hard to go on remembering, every day, that there is a suppressed side to every argument. It becomes almost impossible to conceive of what the suppressed things might be. It becomes easy to think that what was suppressed was valueless anyway, or so dangerous that it needed to be suppressed.

1984 - from his essay "Casualties of Censorship", in They Shoot Writers, Don't They?, edited by George Theiner
Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.