The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Salman sights many Rushdies

New York, Nov. 27 (Reuters): Salman Rushdie, sentenced to death in 1989 by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for his book The Satanic Verses, wrote in The New York Times today that other “Rushdies” were emerging around the world to challenge Islamic fanaticism.

Rushdie said in an opinion piece that moderate Muslims had been “unnaturally silent” on the religious death edict against Nigerian reporter Isioma Daniel in this month’s violent Miss World controversy, a death sentence on Iranian reformist academic Hashem Aghajari and a Dutch Muslim woman who had to flee the Netherlands because of death threats received after she criticised Muslim men for oppressing Muslim women.

“If the moderate voices of Islam cannot or will not insist on the modernisation of their culture — and of their faith as well — then it may be these so-called ‘Rushdies’ who have to do it for them,” the author wrote in a piece headlined “No More Fanaticism as Usual.”

When an official in the Nigerian state of Zamfara issued the death decree against newspaper reporter Daniel yesterday, he compared her to Rushdie, according to the New Nigerian newspaper.

In The New York Times, Rushdie said he was no longer uncomfortable with “sloganisation of my name by Islamists around the world” and he was “often even proud” of the company he was in.

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