SHORT TAKES : 'Spineless' Rushdie Condemned

From Times Wire Services

Salman Rushdie, the author Islamic fundamentalists condemned to death for writing what they consider a blasphemous novel, has been chosen for a Hall of Infamy award for saying recently he has embraced Islam.

Jim Luce, founder of Fundamentalists Anonymous, denounced Rushdie's decision to not publish a paperback edition of "The Satanic Verses," the book that sent him into hiding in 1989 after Islamic fundamentalists put a price on his head.

"This spineless and shameless capitulation is a serious setback for free speech. It will only encourage more fundamentalist attempts, whether Christian or Islamic, to censor literature and art," Luce said Thursday.

Fundamentalists Anonymous, which claims to have 26,000 members nationwide, is made up of former fundamentalist adherents.

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