Iran Increases Bounty for Salman Rushdie's Head

World | September 16, 2012, Sunday // 16:40|  views

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Against the backdrop of ongoing violent protests across the Muslim world triggered by an anti-Islam film, a religious foundation in Iran has increased the reward for killing British author Salman Rushdie to USD 3.3 M from USD 2.8 M.

Following a 1989 death fatwa issued by Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the 15th of Khordad Foundation declared a prize for the head of the British writer.

The reward for the killing of the author of the allegedly blasphemous novel The Satanic Verses started at USD 1M and was occasionally increased.

According to reports of Iranian news agencies citing a statement of Ayatollah Sheikh Hassan Sane'ei, Caretaker of the15th of Khordad Foundation, unless Rushdie is killed, "the movie offending the Prophet will not be the last contemptuous attempt".

The statement goes on to say that "these days are the most appropriate time to carry it (Rushdie's murder) out."

The United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations for several years over the 1989 death fatwa against the India-born novelist.

In 1998, the government of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami announced it no longer supported the killing of Rushdie.

However, in 2005 Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reaffirmed the fatwa against Rushdie, labeling him an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam,.

In 2007, the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that the fatwa against the British novelist was still in force.

Tags: fatwa, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran, anti-Islam


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