Tim Adams interviews Salman Rushdie for the Observer:
Would you describe yourself as an atheist?
Of course. It's all nonsense, and I've always thought it was. My father was like that too. The only religion that got into our house was that my mother didn't like eating pig: I never had the flesh of swine till I came to public school in England. I had a ham sandwich and was not killed by thunderbolts.
But you always had faith in stories?
It is what I do. I mean, if you are a carpenter you have faith in carpentry.
What did you make of the latest chapter, the news of Osama bin Laden's death?
I thought: good. It's about time. And of course I loved the fact that it turns out he enjoyed looking at pornography, and watching himself on TV – the more of a jerk he looks, the better for everyone. One of the likely consequences of the Arab spring is that al-Qaida immediately starts to look more irrelevant. It shows that this argument (which has been far too prevalent in the west) that there is a different set of criteria you have to use when you look at Muslim countries is bullshit. This is not an ideological revolution, or a theological one; it is a demand for liberty and jobs, desires and rights that are common to all human beings.