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Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 20:45 GMT
Rushdie death sentence reaffirmed

The Satanic Verses burning Rushdie's The Satanic Verses led to the fatwa


Hardline Islamic bodies have reminded British writer Salman Rushdie that the death sentence hanging over him is still in force.

In a statement reported by state radio, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said: "Based on divine principles,...the ruling against the apostate Salman Rushdie is still valid and nothing can change this."

rushdie Salman Rushdie: Refused to change identity
The fatwa goes back to February 1989 when Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini said Muslims had a duty to kill Mr Rushdie for blaspheming Islam in his novel The Satanic Verses.

The Revolutionary Guards' statement went on: "World Muslims will carry in their hearts the pain due to the insult against Islam so long as the religious ruling against the apostate author has not been carried out."

The state-affiliated Islamic Propagation Organisation urged Muslims in a statement "to cleanse the world from this apostate by carrying out this just ruling".



World Muslims will carry in their hearts the pain due to the insult against Islam
Iran's Revolutionary Guards
The Iranian Government publicly committed itself in 1998 to not carrying out the death sentence against Mr Rushdie. There followed a deal between Iran and the UK to normalise relations.

However, Iranian hardliners have continued to call for Mr Rushdie's death.

An Iranian foundation has set a $2.8m bounty on the Indian-born novelist's head.

Mr Rushdie, who lived in hiding for most of the past 11 years, said last week he refused to change his identity to escape the death edict because that would have been worse than dying.

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See also:
14 Feb 99 |  Middle East
Analysis: Why the Rushdie affair continues
25 Sep 98 |  UK
Rushdie delighted to be 'free'
23 Sep 98 |  Middle East
Fatwa cannot be revoked
18 Oct 98 |  Middle East
Village offers carpets for Rushdie's death
18 Jul 99 |  Middle East
British envoy takes up Iran posting
12 Oct 98 |  Middle East
Rushdie death bounty raised

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