A high-level Iranian cleric said Friday that the religious edict calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie cannot be revoked, and he warned Britain was defying the Islamic world by granting the author knighthood.Death to all those who offend the religion of peace! Nick Provenzo says it better than I can:
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami reminded worshippers of the 1989 fatwa during a sermon at Tehran University, aired live on state radio. Thousands of worshippers chanted "Death to the English."
The continued existence of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie is more than just a threat against one man and his publisher; it is a threat against a fundamental tenant our civilization, which is that each individual is free to express himself and his ideas without fear of threats or physical coercion. That Iran's clerics continue to attack the very cornerstone of our civilization reveals yet again that Iran itself continues to be uncivilized. No one had the right to coercively edit Salman Rushdie or any citizen of the West. No government cleric had the right to call for any free man's murder...UPDATE: Watch Christopher Hitchens on BBC's Question Time programme, magnificent once again in defending -- defending? nay, praising to the skies -- the decision to knight Rushdie. And the inimitable Cox and Forkum have their say below... [Hat tip Jameson for the link, and the cartoon]
Rather than continue to sit idly by while Iran's clerics boast of their savage edict, it's high time that the West respond in kind.