Salman Rushdie Was Stabbed on Stage 33 Years After Iran’s Khomeini Called a Fatwa for Followers to Execute Him for Insulting Islam and Muhammad

In this file photo taken on February 17, 1989, Iranian women are seen holding banners which read “Holly Koran” and “Kill Salman Rushdie” during a demonstration against British writer Salman Rushdie in Tehran. (NORBERT SCHILLER / AFP)

PARIS (AFP) — Friday’s knife attack on Salman Rushdie at an event in New York comes more than 33 years after the fatwa against him by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in which he sentenced him to death.

On February 14, 1989 Khomeini called for him to be killed for writing “The Satanic Verses,” which the cleric said insulted Islam.

In a fatwa, or religious decree, Khomeini urged “Muslims of the world rapidly to execute the author and the publishers of the book” so that “no one will any longer dare to offend the sacred values of Islam.”

Khomeini, who was 89 and had just four months to live, added that anyone who was killed trying to carry out the death sentence should be considered a “martyr” who would go to paradise.

A $2.8-million bounty was put on the writer’s head.

The British government immediately granted police protection to Rushdie, an atheist born in India to non-practicing Muslims.

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Source: Times of Israel