Iran said on Sunday that a fatwa ordering the death of British writer Salman Rushdie issued by its revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini still stands after his knighthood by the queen.
“The stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to this issue has not changed from what was put forward by the Imam Khomeini,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.
The Indian-born Rushdie, 59, was forced to go into hiding for a decade after Khomeini issued the 1989 death sentence over his book “The Satanic Verses,” saying it insulted Islam.
Khomeini’s successor as supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in January 2005 he still believed the British novelist was an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam.
“By knighting Salman Rushdie, the queen has honored the freedom of conscience and creativity cherished in the West, making her a symbol of the essence of our way of life”
In “An honor worth defending” in the IHT Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls on the West to recover its spine and defend its culture and civilization. But there is a curious phrase in the opening paragraph:
Imagine if a crowd of Englishmen marched in London carrying effigies of Muhammad, peace be upon him, stacks of the Koran, miniatures of the Kaaba in Mecca and Saudi flags. Imagine if they then built a bonfire and hurled the items one at a time into that fire screaming “Long Live the Queen!” each time the flames shot up.
“Peace be upon him”? This is an interjection that pious Muslims add after uttering the name of a prophet. Yet Hirsi Ali has referred to Muhammad as a tyrant and a pervert. She has not presented herself as a Muslim except in a broad cultural way. So I wonder: did she add this interjection herself, as a means of identifying herself as a cultural Muslim? Or did an editor at Tribune Media Services (which distributed this piece) or the IHT add it in as an exercise in politically correct sensitivity?
Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch is asking this question, and rightly so.
Anyway, Hirsi Ali goes on:
This would be the equivalent of what hardline Muslim students did in the eastern Pakistani city of Multan, to take just one example, when they burned effigies this week of Queen Elizabeth II and Salman Rushdie, chanting “Kill him! Kill him!” in response to his recently bestowed knighthood.
Westerners have too often shrugged their shoulders at the trashing of their icons – such as when the queen is burned in effigy – by the foot soldiers of tribal barbarism. This perceived weakness makes the foes of the West more ferocious and helps recruit more jihadists.
Instead the West should join together to vigorously defend its symbols and civilization that, with all its flaws, still offers the best life to the most people.
By knighting Salman Rushdie, the queen has honored the freedom of conscience and creativity cherished in the West, making her a symbol of the essence of our way of life.
* Something that cannot be said for the idiot prince Charles who wants to be known as ‘defender of the faith’s’….