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Iranian cleric says Rushdie still under 'fatwa'

Iranian cleric says Rushdie still under 'fatwa'
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There is a renewed threat from Iran against the British author Salman Rushdie. A prominent Iranian cleric has said the fatwa, or death warrant, issued against the controversial writer in 1989 is still active. The comments were made by Ahmad Khatami during Friday prayers broadcast on state radio. They are the latest sign of the anger in the Muslim world over Britain’s decision to award a knighthood to Rushdie.

The fatwa was imposed after the publication of Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses”, which some Muslims say insults Islam. In 1998, Iran’s government formally distanced itself from the death warrant, but hardline groups in Iran regularly renew the call for his murder.

They say the edict issued by the late Ayatollah Khomenei is irrevocable. It is a view shared in a number of countries around the world, where Britain’s decision to honour Rushdie has led to angry protests.