04 December, 2020

No Freedom From Fatwa?

The Iranian government may have distanced itself from the fatwa against Rushdie, but fundamentalists haven't

No Freedom From Fatwa?

IT will be a while before Salman Rushdie can walk up and down London's Oxford Street. Days after Iranian president Syed Mohammad Khatami announced to the world that "we should consider the Salman Rushdie issue as completely finished," hardliners only firmed their resolve to carry out the fatwa, decreed by the father of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1989.

Rushdie visited the Frankfurt book fair recently—but escorts were all around him. They do not look like they will ever leave him, not after a conservative Persian daily, Jomhuri Islami, announced that the 15th Khordad Foundation had increased the $2.5 million bounty on Rushdie's head by $300,000. To top that, on October 8, a hardline student group offered one billion Iranian rials ($333,000) to anyone willing to kill Rushdie.

Khatami's lawmakers also raised their voice in protest. Of the 270-member Majlis, 150 signed a petition last week, describing the fatwa as a 'divine order' which cannot be revoked. "The fatwa against Rushdie is...



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