Monday, June 18, 2007


The honour was intended to recognise the contribution to literature by one of Britain's most high-profile - and much vilified - writers. But the government's decision to give Salman Rushdie a knighthood has generated the kind of international furore that once threatened to engulf his career and put his life at risk.

Yesterday, indignation at the award for the writer of The Satanic Verses, spread to Islamabad, with one Pakistani minister reported yesterday as saying that a suicide bomb attack would be a justified response to the award of the knighthood.

The Pakistan parliament called on the British government to reverse the decision or face further protests from Muslim nations. "If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honour of the Prophet Muhammad, his act is justified," the minister for religious affairs, Ijaz ul-Haq, told Pakistan's national assembly, according to the translation from Urdu by Reuters. He urged Muslim countries to break diplomatic ties with London.

"This is an occasion for the [world's] 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision," said Mr ul-Haq, the son of the former Pakistan military leader, Zia ul-Haq. "If Muslims do not unite, the situation will get worse and Salman Rushdie may get a seat in the British parliament.
Keep in mind: Pakistan is supposedly one of our allies against extremism.

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