February 02, 2006
Hezbollah: Rushdie death would stop Prophet insults
(AFP) The leader of the Lebanese fundamentalist Shiite movement Hezbollah claimed that if Muslims had executed British novelist Salman Rushdie others would not dare to insult Islam. Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa or religious edict in 1989 demanding Rushdie's execution over his best-selling novel the "Satanic Verses," deemed blasphemous and insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.
"If there had been a Muslim to carry out Imam Khomeini's fatwa against the renegade Salman Rushdie, this rabble who insult our Prophet Mohammed in Denmark, Norway and France would not have dared to do so," Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in remarks published Thursday .
Muslim anger has continued to swell over the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and several other European papers. "I am sure there are millions of Muslims who are ready to give their lives to defend our prophet's honour and we have to be ready to do anything for that," said Nasrallah, whose movement is backed by Iran.
Source: [Yahoo News]
"We do not understand the rationale of the Danish authorities who refuse to apologize under the pretext of freedom of expression."
Rushdie had to go into hiding after Khomeini branded him an apostate who had to be punished by death. An Iranian charitable foundation has offered a 2.8 million dollar bounty for Rushdie's head.
In 1998, Iran's then foreign minister Kamal Kharazi promised his British counterpart Robin Cook that Tehran would do nothing to implement the fatwa, although Khomeini's successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in January 2005 that Rushdie still deserved to die.
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