Knighting Rushdie Called Insult to Islam

June 18, 2007

Author: Fredrik Dahl

Source: Calgary Herald

Wire Service: AP

TEHRAN - Iran accused Britain on Sunday of insulting Islamic values by knighting Salman Rushdie, whose novel, The Satanic Verses prompted the late Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa death warrant against him.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Rushdie, awarded the knighthood for services to literature in the Queen's birthday honours list, published on Saturday, was "one of the most hated figures" in the Islamic world.

Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini portrayed the decision as an act directed against Islam by Britain, which is among world powers involved in an escalating standoff with Iran over disputed nuclear ambitions.

"Honouring and commending an apostate and hated figure will definitely put the British officials (in a position) of confrontation with Islamic societies," Hosseini said.