Novelist Salman Rushdie was knighted last week, touching off fury in the Muslim world. Rushdie, an Indian-born British citizen, first drew Muslim protests with the 1988 publication of his book The Satanic Verses, which many found blasphemous. Several Pakistanis died that year during protests against the book, and Iran issued a fatwa sentencing Rushdie to death. This week, Pakistan was again prominent in protesting Rushdie’s new honor, as the government appeared to call for suicide bombings. “If someone exploded a bomb on his body, he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the ‘Sir’ title,” said Pakistani Religion Minister Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq. A British diplomat expressed “deep concern” at the comment.
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