August 13, 2022 | The Hill

Rushdie attack reveals — again — true nature of Iranian regime

August 13, 2022 | The Hill

Rushdie attack reveals — again — true nature of Iranian regime

Excerpt

On Feb. 14, 1989, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, condemning author Salman Rushdie to death for blasphemy. Rushdie had recently penned the book “The Satanic Verses,” which depicted Rushdie’s interpretation of the life of the prophet Mohammed, including an episode in which the prophet was unable to distinguish between revelation and the influence of Satan.

More than three decades later, on Aug. 12, 2022, Rushdie was stabbed in the neck by New Jersey resident Hadi Matar, who reportedly was “sympathetic to Shia extremism.” The attack came amidst a flurry of other thwarted plots by the Islamic Republic against former U.S. officials and Iranian dissidents. While some may have seen it as ancient history, the Khomeini fatwa clearly still reverberates today.

In 1989, Khomeini sentenced Rushdie to death. On Tehran radio, the Supreme leader stated: “I would like to inform all intrepid Muslims in the world that the author of the book Satanic Verses, which has been compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Qur’an, and those publishers who were aware of its contents, are sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, where they find them.”

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is senior vice president at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @JSchanzer. FDD is a Washington, DC-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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Issues:

Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism