19 Jun 2007

Pakistan Minister Says Rushdie’s Knighthood Justifies Suicide Attacks

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The Guardian reports:

The award of a knighthood to the author Salman Rushdie justifies suicide attacks, a Pakistani government minister said today.

“This is an occasion for the 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision,” Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, religious affairs minister, told the Pakistani parliament in Islamabad. “The west is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the ‘sir’ title.”

After his comments were reported on local news stations, Mr ul-Haq told MPs that his aim had been to look into the root causes of terrorism.
The comments follow other condemnation of the award for Rushdie, whose novel The Satanic Verses provoked worldwide protests over allegations that it insulted Islam.

He received the knighthood for services to literature in the Queen’s birthday honours list published on Saturday.

Earlier today Pakistani MPs demanded Britain withdraw Rushdie’s knighthood.

A government-backed resolution condemning the author’s knighthood was passed unanimously by the lower house of the Pakistani parliament amid angry protests across the country.

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