How about if you just don’t read his books, instead?

Maryam Namazie wants you all to sign a petition. Would you believe the Iranian state still wants to murder Salman Rushdie, and has put a bounty on his head?

We, the undersigned, are outraged to learn that forty state-run media outlets in Iran have raised $600,000 (£420,000) to add as bounty to Ayatollah Khomeini’s death fatwa on writer Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses.

We condemn the Iranian regime, its fatwa and the added bounty and stand with Salman Rushdie and the many Iranian freethinkers and writers languishing in prison or facing the death penalty for exercising their right to free expression and thought.

The Iranian regime must face global condemnation for its incitement to murder.

I am opposed to state-sponsored assassination of any kind, but to condemn a person to death for writing words on paper is simply appalling. Rushdie has been under this edict of death for almost 30 years now, and it has to stop.


  1. redwood says

    Sounds like Iran is feeling its oats a bit now that sanctions have been removed. Very disappointing that they went in this direction because they’ll lose a lot of the good will that was out there.

  2. Petteri Sulonen says

    #2: Iran is a really complex and messy place. It’s unwise to attribute this kind of thing to “Iran” as an entity. Certain powerful and highly unpleasant factions in Iran, certainly. I think it’s more likely that these factions pulled this off precisely to scupper the recent rapprochement with the West, so in that sense there is a connection. I find it highly unlikely that Rouhani’s coalition would’ve done this.

  3. blf says

    I concur with Petteri Sulonen@3: Saying “Iran still wants to kill Mr Rushdie” based on this report is about as accurate as saying “USA wants to build a wall between it and Mexico” based on teh trum-prat’s burblings. Just what is going on — other than not being the correct-most thing, ending the fatwa entirely and definitively — I have no idea, but find very plausible the “some sort of internal politics / maneuvering” idea (with is also broadly what teh trum-prats bellowing also is, except he really would have nuclear weapons). This hypothesis is supported by the observation there are elections underway in Iran, including for the Assembly of Experts (who choose the next supreme leader if/when the current one (Khamenei) dies).

  4. petesh says

    Christians, please see Matthew 7:3-5 (the mote/beam verses), good advice for atheists too. I leave it to one raised in the Islamic tradition to offer a better cite from the Koran than Satanic Verses itself. It is a great book, possibly Rushdie’s second-best after Midnight’s Children, but I sure hope we don’t fall into the fallacy of assuming that all Iranians, or even all Iranians with influence on the government, let alone all Muslims, support this fatwa idiocy.

  5. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    The petition very clearly condemns the Iranian regime. Not “Iran”, not “Iranians”, not “Muslims”. I’ll grant that probably not everyone in the Iranian government agrees, but as long as the fatwa’s out there it’s still official policy of the Iranian regime. Comparisons with Trump should at least wait until he’s elected and had a chance to put his policy into effect. (A more apt comparison would be to say that the US regime advocates murder by drone.)

  6. nahuati says

    Signed. When I first looked at the petition a few hours back it had a tad over 600 signatures, and now it already has over 800 signatures!

  7. grumpyoldfart says

    …it has to stop.

    It will never stop. Religious fanatics have been preaching death and destruction for thousands of years. It’s what they do. (And their ratbag followers love it!).

  8. says

    There is a general election taking place in Iran and the conservative elements are very much on the back foot. It is highly likely that moderate and reformist parties will win. The renewal of the reward is probably the dying gasp of the ruling extremists.

    On another note when the fatwa was first issued I bought a copy of Satanic Verses from the only bookshop in Sydney that decided to sell it. I had to register my name and reserve a copy before coming in to collect it. When I got to the shop i had to walk past heavy security and ask for it at the counter. The salesperson reached under the counter and presented me with my copy in a plain brown wrapper just like my local barbers used to sell porn magazines and condoms when i was a teenager.

    I actually read the book and understood why many Muslims would find it offensive. Does Rushdie deserve to die? Not for his remarks about Islam, Muslims and the Prophet. however his writing style is so elliptical that his story is hard to follow and without being privy to knowledge of Muslim culture and belief as well as a more than passing acquaintance with Hinduism and Bollywood movies the story is almost impossible to follow. Many of the people I know who had the misfortune to read it feel that alone is reason enough for the fatwa.

  9. Frankie says

    Correction. Not the Iranian State.

    The correct answer of you don’t understand this topic is “I don’t know”