FATWA ON SALMAN RUSHDIE STILL STANDS CLAIMS IRANIAN MULLAH – It’s now been 25 years since the Iranian clergy issued a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for his book and publication of Satanic Verses to which Iran’s religious leaders consider blasphemous.
It was on February 14, 1989 that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called upon all Muslims to hunt down and murder Salman Rushdie and anyone achieving such would receive their rightful place in paradise and payment of $3.3 million.
Over the years, the situation surrounding Salman Rushdie has been brought up time and time again; the Iranians seeking to have him murdered and the British public asking why the taxpayer has been required to foot the bill for his around-the-clock protection.
Today Salman Rushdie is no longer in hiding and is often seen at public events without any visible signs of police protection.
To mark the 25th Anniversary, a senior cleric Ahmad Khatami reminded Muslims of their duty and insisted that the fatwa against Salman Rushdie is as fresh today as it was 25 years ago.
Confess thy sins and thou shall be forgiven… unfortunately we’re not talking about Christian values, although frankly those are highly questionable in regards to humanity. No we are instead talking about the Koran; or at least some people’s version of it.
According to Ahmad Khatami there can be no forgiveness and even if Salman Rushdie were to seek repentance it would not affect the sentence already laid down.
At the time of publication the Satanic Verses certainly caused a stir and created a rift between western nations and Tehran for years; that rift has never truly been addressed or healed and some suspect it never will.
Many people have been murdered over the publication; such as Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator who was brutally stabbed in the face at work, a Norwegian publisher who was shot and an Italian publisher who was stabbed.
Across the world thousands of Muslims took to the streets in order to burn copies of the book and in the violence that erupted in Sivas, Turkey in 1993 some thirty seven people were massacred during protests – the intended target for the violence was Aziz Nesin a Turkish national who agreed to translate the book.
This recent announcement from Tehran will come as little or no surprise to many for it is widely believed that the faith of Islam has no place for forgiveness, freedom of expression or indeed humanity; the historical atrocities really do speak volumes about a religion that is seen as nothing short of being oppressive totalitarianism.
The question is should Britain have protected Salman Rushdie and in doing so supported the publication of the Satanic Verses?
Considering the cost to the taxpayer some might take the view that he should have taken responsibility for his actions considering his in-depth knowledge of Islam and the Koran.
Unfortunately that is an extremely narrow view in my opinion for something much bigger was and remains at stake.
If we openly allowed him to be murdered then we would have been party to giving sanctity to the oppression of free speech and collectively given validity to Islam, the Koran and Sharia Law.
We continue to fight the ideology that a religion can, and effectively does in some parts of the world, oppress and control with unyielding force but history clearly confirms that humanity can never thrive under such conditions.
Will the fatwa ever be carried out? The answer to that lies within the religious zealots who have liberty to walk among us freely; yes our very liberalisation might just be the blunt instrument that finally allows someone to take Salman Rushdie’s life for the sake of appeasing some very religious fruitcakes in the Middle East.