Iran Calls for Murder of Writer Salman Rushdie (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The spiritual leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a Muslim legal order known as a fatwa, condemning to death Salman Rushdie, author of a book he considered blasphemous, and all those associated with its publication.
Summary of Event
On February 14, 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran issued a Muslim legal order known as a fatwa calling on Muslims everywhere to murder all those associated with the publication of the novel The Satanic Verses, beginning with its author. A translation of the fatwa read:
The author of The Satanic Verses, a text written, edited, and published against Islam, against the Prophet of Islam, and against the Koran, along with all the editors and publishers aware of its contents, are condemned to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute this sentence without delay wherever they find them, so that no one henceforth will dare insult the sacred beliefs of the Muslims. Whoever is killed on this path will be regarded as a martyr.
The attitude of Khomeini, a fundamentalist cleric who in 1979 had led the successful rebellion against the regime of the shah of Iran, was summed up by a 1980 statement: “[There] is no room for play in Islam. . . . It is deadly serious about everything.” Following the pronouncement against Rushdie and his associates, the “15 Khordad...
(The entire section is 2086 words.)
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