JNN 17 Sept 2012 Tehran : Iran has increased the bounty on the apostate writer Salman Rushdie’s head from $500,000 to $3,300,000 for insulting the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), a religious authority announced.
Iranian state-run body says current violence over Islamophobic film would not have occurred if fatwa had been carried out
The latest controversy over an Islamophobic film would not have occurred ifSalman Rushdie had been killed, according to an Iranian state-run institute which has now increased the bounty on the head of the British author to about $3.3m (£2m).
Hassan Sanei, the head of the state-funded 15 Khordad, who is also the representative of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the institute made his remarks in a statement published by local news agencies on Sunday.
Caretaker of 15th of Khordad Foundation, Ayatollah Sheikh Hassan Sane’ei made the remarks in a statement issued on Saturday following worldwide protests against the production of a sacrilegious movie in the US, which insults Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), ISNA reported.
Rushdie was the target of a notorious fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, 23 years ago.
“Surely if the sentence of the Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] had been carried out, the later insults in the form of caricatures, articles and the making of movies would not have occurred,” he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Isnanews agency.
“I am adding another $500,000 to the reward for killing Salman Rushdie, and anyone who carries out this sentence will receive the whole amount immediately,” he said, according to the statement.
He added that the bounty, which was announced by late Imam Khomeini on the writer’s of the Book “ Satanic Verses ” his head money , is now increased by $500,000 to $3,300,000.
Imam Khomeini described The Satanic Verses as “blasphemous against Islam” in a fatwa which caused international controversy and led to the UK severing diplomatic relations with Iran for years. Rushdie went into hiding and received police protection.
In June, Rushdie became the subject of an Iranian computer game, called The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict, which was aimed at spreading to the next generation the message about his “sin”.
“We felt we should find a way to introduce our third and fourth generation to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and its importance,” Mohammad-Taqi Fakhrian, of Iran’s student association, said at the time.
Rushdie, who has a new memoir coming out this week about the pseudonym he used after the fatwa was declared, has nothing to do with the anti-Islam film that has sparked protests across the Middle East and North Africa.
“The film is clearly a malevolent piece of garbage,” Rushdie told the Guardianin an interview published on Monday to discuss his book Joseph Anton.
The blasphemous movie sparked protests in Iran, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and in European countries including Britain, where demonstrators set ablaze the effigies of President Barack Obama and the US flags.
The British Indian novelist and writer was sentenced to death by Imam Khomeini for insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, which was written in 1988 and sparked global protests by Muslims around the world.
Imam Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) on 14 February 1989 calling for his death.
The caretaker of 15th of Khordad Foundation also said that these insulting acts against the Islamic sanctities would not be halted until the late Imam’s decree on apostate Salman Rushdie is carried out.
“The late Leader (of the Islamic Revolution) sought to root out these blasphemous plots hatched by the agents of the US and Zionist regime through announcing bounties, and now it’s the best time for fulfilling this job”, the statement added.
Ayatollah Sane’ei said his foundation supports those people who actively fight against these anti-Islamic plots and conspiracies.
Iran’s vice-president, Reza Rahimi, said of the film on Monday that his government condemned “this inappropriate and offensive action” and promised that his country would “search for, track, and pursue” the person behind its production.