Return of the fatwa

The usual stupid “rage” about the prophet-bashing movie is spreading around the world – Afghanistan and Indonesia basking in the rays today – and Iran has joined the fun by renewing the fatwa on Salman Rushdie and adding half a million bucks to the pot.

Iran has seized on widespread Muslim outrage over a film insulting the Prophet Mohammad to revive the death threat against Salman Rushdie, raising the reward for killing him by US$500,000 (£320,000).

Ayatollah Hassan Sanei, head of a powerful state foundation providing relief to the poor, said the film would never have been made if the order to execute Rushdie, issued by the late Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had been carried out.

Well that’s a fucking stupid claim. What, if Khomeini had succeeded in bribing someone to murder Rushdie for writing a novel, then all criticism of (and disdain for) would have dried up because the source was cut off? I hate to tell you, Mr Sanei, but Salman is not the only person in the world who is critical of Islam in some way. He never has been, and he certainly isn’t now. There’s a lot to be critical of in Islam. Furthermore, if the fatwa had succeeded, if Rushdie had been “executed” (by which of course he means murdered), there would be more criticism of (and disdain for) Islam, not less. Why? Because reasonable people don’t think it’s admirable or even acceptable for heads of state to offer bribes to murder novelists (or anyone else). Khomeini would have created whole new levels of hatred of Islam. He has anyway, and he would have done so all the more if the fatwa had won.

That’s true of all these shits, of course. They all make us hate Islam more, and more, and more. If universal love and respect for Islam is what they want, they’re going about it the wrong way. Boko Haram? Hate it. The Taliban? Hate it. Salafists? Hate them. Sharia? Hate it. The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam? Hate it.

If the imam’s order [had been] carried out, the further insults in the form of caricatures, articles and films would not have taken place. The impertinence of the grudge-filled enemies of Islam, which is occurring under the flag of the Great Satan, America and the racist Zionists, can only be blocked by the absolute administration of this Islamic order.

Nope. Dead wrong. If the imam’s illegal and presumptuous “order” had been carried out, there would have been a whole new generation of further “insults.” You’re murderous and stupid and authoritarian, so we have contempt for you. That’s how it works.

Although Ayatollah Sanei has offered financial rewards for carrying out the edict in the past, he said Muslim anger over the recent film meant the time was now ripe.

“The aim [of the fatwa] has been to uproot the anti-Islamic conspiracy and now the necessity for taking this action is even more obvious than any other time,” he said. “I’m adding another $500,000 to the reward and anyone who carries out this order will immediately receive the whole amount.” The total bounty is now $3.3m (£2.1 m).

“Compassion is at the heart of every great religion.”

It is unlikely that Ayatollah Sanei, personal representative of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the 15th Khordad Foundation, was acting without higher approval. In 2005, Ayatollah Khamenei himself reaffirmed the fatwa while addressing pilgrims preparing to visit Mecca.

In a speech last Friday, he decried the film as the work of US imperialism and “Zionism” and linked it to other perceived western attacks on Islam, including The Satanic Verses and the Danish cartoon contest depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

We are allowed to do that. You are not allowed to murder us.


  1. trucreep says

    I keep picturing an Onion article about Muslims’ fury over the poor quality of the movie insulting them, instead of it depicting the prophet poorly.

  2. A. Noyd says

    What, if Khomeini had succeeded in bribing someone to murder Rushdie for writing a novel, then all criticism of (and disdain for) would have dried up because the source was cut off?

    I think he means that other critics would have been intimidated into silence. That, because Rushdie is still alive, the fanatics who kill to silence criticism aren’t taken seriously. (Still wrong and stupid and evil, of course.)

    I’d love it if there were a plot to fake Rushdie’s death and collect the 3.3 million bucks, then reveal it was a scam and donate the money to organizations that fight Islamic authoritarianism. Not that I think it would work in the real world, but it would be such a delicious “fuck you” to send the Ayatollah and his ilk.

  3. Trends says

    And this is where sharia-compliance is headed. The president of moderate Turkey wants to make lampooning Islam a “crime against humanity”.

    Yes, A. Crime. Agains.t Humanity.

    Killing authors? No probeleme. Lampooning someone who died 14 centuries ago, the equivalent of being a full blown nazi.

    If we don’t tell the islamic world to fuck right off, these severe restrictions on free speech is what we’ll be fitted with.

  4. says

    Trends says:

    And this is where sharia-compliance is headed. The president of moderate Turkey wants to make lampooning Islam a “crime against humanity”.

    Turkey was soft pedalling on Islamism when it wanted to join the EU. The current economic climate means it’s probably economically better off outside for the time being so it can afford to become more Islamic. If it wants to join in five or six years time it will suddenly become secular again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *