Knighthood - the title of 'Sir'

Salman Rushdie, the controversial author, had been knighted earlier this month. This decision had incited protests in some parts of Muslim world but the judges of the Man Booker International Prize have condemned this attack. They have said that the "appalling reaction" has threatened "the principle of freedom of expression as a basic tenet of justice".

The concept of knighthood goes back to the Middle Ages. Today the designation of 'Sir' is conferred upon the person who is knighted. The French use the title "Chevalier" and the German "Ritter" .

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