Blaspheme a lot? Watch your back.
In September 1988, a novel called The Satanic Verses was published by British Indian author Salman Rushdie.
In February 1989, a fatwā requiring Rushdie’s execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran at the time, calling the book “blasphemous against Islam”. The Ayatollah also offered a bounty for Rushdie’s death.
Did you get that? The leader of a nation publicly asks bounty-hunters to go murder a writer in his home, and offers a reward for this.
Ten years later, in an attempt to normalize the severed diplomatic relations with Britain, the Iranian government went as far as to give a public commitment that it would “neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie.”
However, in 2005, Ayatollah Khameini himself reaffirmed the fatwa.
Here the news. September 2012, Iranian ayatollah Hassan Sanei, head of a powerful state foundation providing relief to the poor, is raising the bounty to $3.3 million, apparently with higher approval.
Ayatollah Sanei’s words as quoted in The Telegraph today, and he means business:
“The aim [of the fatwa] has been to uproot the anti-Islamic conspiracy and now the necessity for taking this action is even more obvious than any other time,” he said. “I’m adding another $500,000 to the reward and anyone who carries out this order will immediately receive the whole amount.” The total bounty is now $3.3m (£2.1 m).
“If the imam’s order was carried out, the further insults in the form of caricatures, articles and films would not have taken place. The impertinence of the grudge-filled enemies of Islam, which is occurring under the flag of the Great Satan, America and the racist Zionists, can only be blocked by the absolute administration of this Islamic order.”
Full story at The Telegraph.