in a case with echoes of the Iranian fatwa
against British author Salman Rushdie, the
British government hinted on Tuesday that
police were considering special protection
for Manouchehr Fouladvand in view of an
increasing number of death threats.
have not issued a religious edict, or fatwa,
calling for Fouladvand to be killed, as
's late Supreme Leader Ayat Allah Ruh Allah
Khomeini did in Rushdie's case in 1989.
his broadcasts on the US-based
Farsi-language Ma-TV, in which he frequently
mocks the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's holy
book the Quran, have upset many Iranians and
spurred hardline commentators to call for
firing of a bullet into his damned and
blasphemous head is an incontestable
necessity, and how cherished is the emissary
of that bullet," Husain Shariatmadari,
editor-in-chief of the official Kayhan
daily, said in an editorial.
and other Iranians have accused
's intelligence services of funding Ma-TV,
British government does not share Mr
Fouladvand's views," said Matthew
Gould, deputy head of mission at the British
. "We deplore any attacks on Islam. We
condemn those who stir up division."
"The British government does not
support Ma-TV, does not agree with Ma-TV,
and has given no backing or assistance to
Ma-TV," he said.
firing of a bullet into his damned
and blasphemous head is an
incontestable necessity, and how
cherished is the emissary of that
because of the threats to kill Mr
Fouladvand, the British police need to
consider his security," Gould said.
does not imply any support for his views ...
This sort of approach is essential if we are
to have a society based on the rule of
brought the wrath of many Muslims with his
book The Satanic Verses, which Khomeini said
said it was the duty of Muslims to kill
Rushdie and a $2.5 million bounty was placed
on the author's head.
Iranian government in 1998 said it no longer
supported the mission to kill Rushdie,
although it could not rescind Khomeini's