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Sunday, August 28, 2016


  • Author Salman Rushdie poses with his 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" alongside fellow honoree Tashbih Sayyed before an annual dinner in California of the American Jewish Conference in 2006. (REUTERS/Chris Pizzello)
  • Sales of "The Satanic Verses," Rushdie's award-winning fourth novel, skyrocketed after the Iranian fatwa against the author and its publisher. He has said it was inspired in part by the life of the Islamic prophet.
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (right, with his eventual successor, Ali Khamenei, center) issued a fatwa on February 14, 1989, condemning Rushdie and all its editors and publishers to death and "call[ing] on all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay."
  • A black-clad girl carries a sign vowing to kill Rusdie during a pro-Iranian rally in Beirut's southern suburb one month after the Khomeini fatwa. (Reuters/stringer)
  • Rushdie reported being pressured by Muslim scholars in late 1990 into signing a statement saying he had intended no offense to Islam. Khomeini responded with an affirmation of his death sentence. Years later, in the autobiographical "Joseph Anton," Rushdie recalled thinking after news of the fatwa: "I wish I'd written a more critical book."
  • Rushdie is surrounded by police and bodyguards as he leaves Stationers Hall in London by a rear exit in 1992, three years after the fatwa was issued.
  • Iranian Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Musavi answers questions about the Rushdie fatwa during a press conference at Ankara airport in February 1989, shortly after Khomeini declared the death sentence. (REUTERS/Fatih Saribas)
  • Women holding banners that read, "Holly [sic] Koran" and, "We will kill Salman Rushdie" demonstrate in Tehran on February 17, 1989, three days after the fatwa was issued.
  • In 1998, after Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami sought to restore diplomatic relations with the U.K. by saying it would "neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated the validity of the death sentence pronounced by his predecessor Khomeini.
  • Ayman al-Zawahri, Al-Qaeda's Egyptian-born second-in-command, accused Britain of hypocrisy for making Rushdie a Knight Bachelor in June 2007.
  • Jamiat Talba-e Arabiya supporters in Karachi, Pakistan, hold signs targeting Rushdie during a protest days after the author was awarded Knight Bachelorship.
  • A man displays an effigy of Queen Elizabeth as he marches with others during an anti-British protest in Lahore, Pakistan in June 2007, shortly after the honor was announced for Rushdie.
  • Sir Salman Rushdie poses for photographs after receiving his knighthood for his service to literature from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London on June 25, 2008.
  • Muslim protesters burn an effigy of Rushdie during a demonstration near India's largest mosque, in New Delhi, in 1999. (AFP PHOTO/FILES/RAVEENDRAN)
  • Aziz Nesin, a Turkish writer and translator of "The Satanic Verses," was thought to have been the intended target in a 1993 incident in which a gang of Islamists set fire to a hotel in Sivas, Turkey, killing 37 people. A Japanese translator was killed and others were injured in assassination attempts in connection with the book.
  • Rushdie's name is regularly invoked in an anti-Islamic context. Here, a poster on the ground in Tehran, Iran depicts him morphing into Christian pastor Terry Jones, who famously burned copies of the Koran in Florida in April 2012. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz)
  • A man shining shoes wears a Rushdie mask outside a mosque during a protest by an Islamic organization in Mumbai in January 2011. (AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE/FILES)
  • Muslims pray before a planned televised speech by Rushdie at the annual Jaipur Literature Festival in Rajasthan, India, in January 2012 was canceled due to threats against the author and organizers.
  • A boy stands at Tehran University in February 2012 in front of a banner reading, "The execution verdict of Salman Rushdi will be carried out."
  • Rushdie signs autographs as he arrives for a festival showing in Toronto, Canada, in September 2012 of the film "Midnight's Children," based on his Booker Prize-winning book from 1981.

Iranian Fatwa Still Dogs Writer Rushdie

Published 17 September 2012

Reports from Iran say a semiofficial religious group, 15 Khordad Foundation, has increased to $3.3 million the bounty on the life of British author Salman Rushdie. The news comes more than 23 years after the fatwa, or religious edict, was issued by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for what he labeled blasphemy in the novel "The Satanic Verses." The latest call to kill the novelist comes against a backdrop of global Muslim outrage over a low-budget film made in the U.S. that impugns the Prophet Muhammad.