Iran Ups Reward for Death of Salman Rushdie after Anti-Islam Muhammad Film: Now USD 3.3 Million
A semi-official religious foundation in Iran has increased a reward it had offered for the killing of British author Salman Rushdie from USD 2.8 million to USD 3.3 million, following protests throughout the Muslim world over alleged insults to the Prophet Muhammad. Hardline Iranian newspapers reported over the weekend that the move appeared to be linked to protests over an amateurish anti-Islam film, which crowds in some 20 countries said drove them to defend their faith—in some cases by attacking US embassies and killing US diplomats. The 15 Khordad Foundation will reportedly pay the higher reward to whoever acts on the 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, issued by Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which called for the death of Rushdie, who wrote "The Satanic Verses", because the novel was considered blasphemous. The decision to boost the original reward, offered in the 1990s, came just a day before the US magazine The New Yorker published Rushdie's a 13-page essay, titled 'The disappeared - how the fatwa changed a writer's life.'