Literature: A Renewed Death Threat

A Renewed Death Threat

After a year of enforced confinement following the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie can hardly be faulted for speaking his mind from hiding to a few British and American publications. But his bold step back into the public arena has cost the British author dearly.

Last week Iran's supreme spiritual leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, reaffirmed the death sentence against Rushdie proclaimed a year ago by his predecessor, Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini. "Mercenary hands which try to diminish Islam by cultural plots like writing blasphemous books," Khamenei said, would be punished.

The warning chilled Japanese booksellers in Tokyo who...

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