Insider news & Analysis in Iran

On February 14th, 2014, a senior mullah declared in his Friday prayers that the fatwa issued by Khomeini on February 14th, 1989, exactly 25 years ago, for Salman Rushdie, author of the controversial novel “The Satanic Verses”, still holds and should be carried out. There were several failed assignation attempts on Rushdie, including a bomb that exploded prematurely and destroyed two floors of a London hotel.

Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the Qods Force, reported that Mullah Mustafa Olama, representative of the supreme leader in Kermanshah, a provincial capital in Western Iran, said this in his Friday prayer sermon:

“February 14 is the 25th anniversary of Khomeini’s historical fatwa on Salman Rushdie, the author of “The Satanic Verses”, declaring his heresy and sentencing him to be executed… Salman Rushdie, the author of this book, has been bred in England and the book of The Satanic Verses was written as a calculated act supported by our enemies as their first assault against us. When Khomeini issued the death sentence for the author and the publisher of the book, this historical fatwa revived the world of Islam. Since the issuance of this historic Fatwa, Salman Rushdie is living in very harsh conditions and this decree has imposed a large expense on England to hide and protect him.”

In his fatwa 25 years ago, Khomeini called for Salman Rushdie to be executed:

“I want to inform Muslims throughout the world that the author and the publishers of “The Satanic Verses” who were aware of its content are condemned to death. I ask Muslims to swiftly execute them anywhere that they find them and anyone dying doing this act is considered a martyr. Meanwhile, if anyone has access to the author of the book, but lacks the will to execute him, he should inform other people to punish him for his offence.”

This fatwa forced Rushdie to a life in hiding and isolation; he rarely appears in public. The fatwa remains up to this date. The present leader of the Iranian regime, Ali Khamenei, declared in 2004 that the Khomeini’s fatwa may not be revoked. Many Iranian government institutions put up awards for the killing of Salman Rushdie.

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