Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issues death fatwa against Salman Rushdie
Rushdie changed 56 homes in 6 months after the fatwa, adopting the pseudonym Joseph Anton.
A $2.8 million bounty was placed on Salman Rushdie’s head
New Delhi. Iran’s then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. On Friday, 33 years after the fatwa was issued, Salman Rushdie was attacked with a knife. His agent said that writer Rushdie was on a ventilator after surgery. It is feared that he has lost one eye and his liver has been badly damaged by the knife attack.
In a fatwa, Khomeini appealed to the Muslims of the world to eliminate the authors and publishers of The Satanic Verses at the earliest, so that no one else dares to hurt the sacred values of Islam. A $2.8 million bounty was placed on Rushdie’s head. Khomeini said that whoever is killed in an attempt to execute the death penalty should be considered a martyr and he will find heaven. This fatwa changed Rushdie’s life forever. Over the next 13 years, Rushdie adopted the pseudonym Joseph Anton and moved 56 times in the first 6 months.
However, Rushdie is not the only victim of this fatwa. Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated “The Satanic Verses” into Japanese, was stabbed to death in 1999 in a building on the Tsukuba University campus in northeastern Tokyo. Police said that he had deep stab wounds on his body. Ettore Capriolo, who translated The Satanic Verses into Italian, was attacked in his Milan apartment. However, he survived the attack, while William Nygaard, the Norwegian publisher of the novel, was shot three times in October 1993. Nygaard was left dead outside his home in Oslo. He had to spend months in the hospital to recover.
However, during an effort to restore diplomatic relations with Britain in 1998, Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami stated that Iran neither supported nor would stand in the way of any attempt to assassinate Rushdie. However, nearly a decade later, Iran’s state-run news agency said the fatwa was still in effect and that the reward for Rushdie’s murder had risen to more than $3 million.
Tags: Salman Rushdie
First Published: 13 August 2022, 12:33 IST