How Iran exploited Rushdie’s Satanic Verses

The move was part of a landmark agreement with the United Kingdom. In exchange for improved diplomatic relations between London and Tehran, Iran gave public assurances that it would not push Rush’s assassination.

But there was a catch. The murderous 1989 edict on Rushdie’s satirical novel The Satanic Verses could not be officially overturned because the source of the fatwa – Iran’s first Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini – had died. At least that is what Rushdie was told according to his biography.

It was a cleverly crafted ambiguity that has defined Iran’s policy – and on many other issues – in the intervening years. In 2006, Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Iran-backed Hezbollah, publicly expressed regret that a fatwa had not been issued against the author, claiming that he had encouraged others to “insult” the Prophet Mohammed. In 2019, Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reminded his followers that the decision against Rushdie was “firm and irreversible”, leading to the closure of his account. Khamenei still tweets from other accounts.

Four months before the rush A brutal stabbing at an event in New York on FridayIran Online, an Iranian news channel, published an article praising the fatwa.

All the while, Iran insisted on dangling the executioner’s sword in front of Rushdie.

Regardless of their motivation, Iran has cynically exploited the sensibilities of some Muslims. The Satanic Verses draws on a deeply controversial story from early Islamic tradition which claims that Satan momentarily intrudes upon the prophet Mohammed’s divine revelations. Iran did not immediately ban the book; After the book sparked protests in Pakistan, the country’s rulers took action months later.

The fatwa that followed was politically useful. This raised Khomeini in the eyes of Islamic fundamentalists in the Muslim world, including Sunnis. Yet, as now, it had its chief Muslim and regional opponents.

Robin Wright of New York Khomeini’s closest protégé at the time, Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, reportedly criticized the decree. Montzeri, who had also opposed mass executions of Iranian dissidents, fell out with the regime and was placed under house arrest in 1997.
Letter of 1989 A campaign against Rushdie was published in The New York Review of Books signed by Arab and Muslim scholars.

“This campaign has been carried out in the name of Islam, although none of them have any credit to Islam,” said the letter signed by five prominent intellectuals, including the late Indian-origin poet Agha Shahid Ali and the late Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said.

“Certainly Muslims and others have the right to protest The Satanic Verses if they feel the novel offends their religious and cultural sensibilities,” the letter’s authors added. “But to bring protest and debate into the realm of fanatical violence is in fact antithetical to the Islamic tradition of education and tolerance.”

In Joseph Anton, a biography of Rushdie, the Mumbai-born author is depicted openly questioning whether he had been “sold out” by the London-Tehran 1998 agreement just days after his life was declared threatened. Joseph Anton was his pen name during his underground days, and he referred to himself in the book in the third person.

Despite acknowledging that a death warrant will continue to hang over his head, he chooses to escape his life in hiding and settle in New York where, decades later, he will be brutally attacked in front of a horrified audience.

The suspect in last week’s attack Authorities identified him as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of New Jersey.

Matar pleaded not guilty Saturday to attempted murder and other charges.

True to form, Iran denied involvement in the attack and said Rushdie and his “supporters” had only themselves to blame. In comments to CNN, Hezbollah also said it had no knowledge of the attackers and the plot.

“Nothing was ever perfect, but there was a level of imperfection that was hard to take,” Rushdie wrote in a 1998 memoir of the decision. “Nevertheless, he remained determined,” Rushdie quoted himself. “He had to take his life back into his own hands. He couldn’t wait any longer for the ‘imperfection factor’ to drop to a more acceptable level.”

Digest

Iran to give final response to EU nuclear deal proposal by midnight in Tehran – FM

Iran will give a final response to the European Union’s proposal to revive the nuclear deal by midnight on Monday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, according to state media.

  • Background: Iran is exchanging messages with the United States through mediation on the remaining three issues, one of which is “guaranteed,” Amir-Abdollahian said. “The American side has shown flexibility on two issues, which have been taken into account and now there is a need to show flexibility on the guarantees,” he said. The US State Department did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment. During the briefing, Amir-Abdollahian did not mention Iran’s previous demand that IAEA inspections of traces of uranium at three undeclared sites be waived.
  • Why is it important?: The revival of the nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from in 2018, appeared to be nearing completion earlier this year. However, discussions stalled on many salient issues in March. They resumed earlier this month in Vienna after the EU made new proposals. With oil markets buoyed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a revived nuclear deal will help lower energy prices and keep more barrels pouring into Europe after the lifting of sanctions on Iran’s oil market.

At least 18 children killed in Egypt church fire

At least 41 people, including 18 children, died on Sunday when a fire broke out at the Abu Sayfin church in Giza’s densely populated Imbaba neighborhood, a spokesman for the Egyptian Coptic Church said in a statement citing health officials.

  • Background: A fire at a small Coptic church in Giza, Greater Cairo, killed 14 people on Sunday. At least 18 children were killed, according to hospital documents seen by CNN. These children were between the ages of 3 and 16. The fire was caused by an electrical fault in the air-conditioning unit, the Home Ministry said.
  • Why is it important?: The incident highlights the dangers posed by parts of Egypt’s underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in the country’s poor and congested areas. In 2020, at least seven people died in an electrical fire at a hospital treating Covid-19 patients.

Five Americans among wounded in Jerusalem shooting

At least eight people were injured, including five Americans In a shooting attack A bus was targeted near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning.
  • Background: Two Americans are being treated at Hadassah Medical Center and three at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, according to the hospitals. At least two of the injured were American tourists, hospitals said. The shooter fled the scene along with members of the security forces, the Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Police said helicopters from the Israel Police’s air unit assisted in the search. The suspect later turned himself in to police. According to the police spokesperson, the weapon from him has been recovered. Israeli media said the suspect is Palestinian and holds Israeli citizenship. A security source confirmed to CNN that the suspect holds Israeli citizenship and is from East Jerusalem.
  • Why is it important?: Sunday’s shooting comes after dozens of Palestinians were killed in hostilities in Gaza last weekend. A ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad terrorist group in Gaza was announced last Sunday. Although militant groups in Gaza such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack, the suspect has no links to militant groups.

around the region

A man in the UAE has been fined up to 15,000 dirhams (about $4,000) for allegedly teaching a woman “a lesson she will never forget,” according to state-owned media. Emarat Alum News Outlet.

The woman filed a civil suit, and the Abu Dhabi Family Court ruled in her favor, while the man was fined for physical and mental damages, Emirates Alum reported, without elaborating on the reason or details of the two parties’ disagreement. ‘ relationship.

The news comes amid rising gender-based violence in the Middle East and growing calls from activists to boost legal protections for women in the region.

A brutal murder of a college student While Naira Ashraf in Egypt began both condemning and praising the accused, some male social media users supported similar violence against women.
Just last week, Egyptian state media reported the killing of another college student A young man after she ended their relationship. The man threatened to kill her before her death and is now in pre-trial detention pending an investigation, state media said.
1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in her life. According to UN WomenMostly through intimate partners.

In the Middle East, at least 37% of Arab women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime, according to the same UN research.

By Nadine Ibrahim

Photo of the day

A woman carries her child as people wait to leave the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp, home to relatives of suspected Islamic State (ISIS) fighters, in Syria's northeastern Haskeh governorate on August 14.

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