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Iran Reinstates Bounty on Rushdie

23 February 2016

From The Guardian:

Forty state-run media outlets in Iran have pooled together to raise $600,000 (£420,000) to add to the fatwa on writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called for Rushdie’s assassination following the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses.

According to the state-run Fars news agency, the media outlets have pooled together to raise a new bounty, in the largest coordinated effort surrounding the fatwa since it was issued in 1989, when Khomeini declared The Satanic Verses blasphemous against Islam and offered a bounty for the novelist’s assassination. The total funds theoretically available to reward Rushdie’s murder now run into millions of dollars.

The fatwa provoked an international outcry and caused the UK to sever diplomatic relations with Iran for nearly a decade.

. . . .

The Satanic Verses was banned in several countries, including India, Sudan, Bangladesh and South Africa. After the fatwa was issued, Rushdie lived under UK police protection and went into hiding for several years.

Other people involved in the book’s publication were attacked: the Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi was stabbed to death in 1991, and the Italian translator Ettore Capriolo was stabbed at his apartment in Milan in 1991 but survived. The Norwegian publisher William Nygaard survived being shot three times in Oslo in 1993, while the Turkish translator Aziz Nesin escaped an arson attack on a hotel in 1993 in which 37 people were killed.

Link to the rest at The Guardian


15 Comments to “Iran Reinstates Bounty on Rushdie”

  1. That sounds very lovely. We should definitely make it easier for them to get nukes.

    • A bit late for that.
      They got everything they wanted and gave up nothing of value. And they are still scorpions so this should surprise nobody with two working brain cells.

  2. Nice people… So glad we’re now BFFs. (Sarcasm.)

    • Close enough, saudi Arabia likes to chop off peoples heads, and we don’t seem to have a problem trading with them.
      Hell, we even supply them with weapons and money, but I suppose that’s politics for you.

  3. Barbara Morgenroth
  4. I say that Rushdie should fake his death, have someone collect the reward, and then go “Neener neener neener” on TV while holding the $600k.

  5. The government gave #500,000. We’re 80 short. Who nicked it?


  6. Blasphemy is not a crime.

    Even Antonin Scalia had to accept that in a free state, scruffy hippies may burn the flag without penalty.

    One segment of contemporary human culture believes in the right to kill a person for speaking offensive words. Another part protects offensive speech as a fundamental right.

    This issue is the single deepest division between The Islamic world and the West.

    I hope someday to hear the President of the USA say publicly, “Free speech is a fundamental right. Blasphemy is not a crime. We will not trade with/sell weapons to any nation that enforces blasphemy laws, whether against its own citizens or ours.”

    Not holding my breath for this to occur.

    • Scalia didn’t have to accept flag burning. Scalia voted with the majority in Texas V Johnson. There is no basis to imply he favored legal restrictions on free speech. There were four justices who actually did vote to uphold the restriction.

      The opinion that Scalia joined said, “Recognizing that the right to differ is the centerpiece of our First Amendment freedoms, a government cannot mandate by fiat a feeling of unity in its citizens. Therefore that very same government cannot carve out a symbol of unity and prescribe a set of approved messages to be associated with that symbol.”

      Scalia followed his conservative principles, applied the Constitution, and signed onto that. He personally abhored flag burning, and spoke out against it. But as a jurist, he had no questions about it.

      Blasphemy is indeed not a crime in the US. It’s people like Scalia who kept it that way.

  7. $150,000,000,000 funds a lot of fatwa.

    • I was thinking the exact same thing… And thank you for your above defense of Scalia. Oh, and more important- Freedom of Speech.

  8. “The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.”

    ― Salman Rushdie

  9. Freedom to say what we need to say is the greatest one we have. “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

  10. I have often wondered over the years, why Rushdie? He showed up at many many book expos while fresh from/in/of the fatwah. I”ve not read the SV, dont plan to, but still wonder why him? Is he really the only author ever who wrote whatever he wrote that so offends? Or is there more to this story? When I first heard his translator had been murdered, I think that was the turning point to see that somehow it was not rushdie per se. Something. But what. That people have murdered others over a some phrasings, is beyond comprehension

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