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Salman Rushdie reclaims his identity

What's in a name? A lot, if you asked famed author Salman Rushdie. Facebook insisted he use his legally-given first name Ahmed—until the social networking powerhouse relented to Rushdie, thus learning to never mess with a guy who has survived a fatwa.


Jordan Valinsky


Posted on Nov 14, 2011   Updated on Jun 3, 2021, 1:23 am CDT

Sometimes rules needs to be broken, as Facebook learned today.

Facebook faced the wrath of Salman Rushdie today because the social networking service didn’t let the writer use the name he goes by, but rather his given name Ahmed Rushdie. (Salman is his middle name.)

This weekend, Facebook deleted his account because the company apparently didn’t believe it was him. But after Rushdie sent his password to the company, the service insisted he use his given name, Ahemd.

“They have reactivated my FB page as “Ahmed Rushdie,” in spite of the world knowing me as Salman. Morons. @MarkZuckerbergF? Are you listening?,” he tweeted.

Noticeably outraged, Rushdie then tweeted numerous names of popular figures that go by their middle names.

“Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar to become John Hoover,” he tweeted and continued “Or, if F. Scott Fitzgerald was on #Facebook, would they force him to be Francis Fitzgerald? What about F. Murray Abraham?”

Facebook noticed and is now letting Rushdie use Salman as his name.

“Victory! #Facebook has buckled! I’m Salman Rushdie again. I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun. Thank you Twitter!,” he tweeted.

Photo by david_shankbone

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*First Published: Nov 14, 2011, 3:59 pm CST