No Reprieve

"Outrageous" and "an incitement to murder." That was the British government's response upon learning that Iran's leading cleric, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had renewed the decree condemning Salman Rushdie to death. The edict, which Khamenei reaffirmed as "irrevocable and binding," accuses the Indian-born author of blasphemy; $2 million (plus expenses) is promised to anyone who murders him. For good measure, two-thirds of Iran's parliament backed the mullah's speech. Rushdie has spent four years in hiding since writing The Satanic Verses.


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