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Rushdie fatwa in effect, ministry says

  |   Feb. 11, 2009 at 11:41 AM
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TEHRAN, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The execution order for writer Salman Rushdie remains valid even though the issuing cleric has died, the Iranian foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Talking to reporters during his press briefing, ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said the verdict issued by the founder of the Islamic republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, unlike political decisions remains in place until it is nullified by the cleric who has issued it, the state-run news agency IRNA reported.

Khomeini died in 1989.

The British Indian novelist sparked outrage in many Muslim countries with his 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses," seen by some as insulting to the Islamic faith and which led to the fatwa issued against Rushdie on charges of blasphemy.

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