Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party holds protest over Rushdie’s knighthood
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Members of Malaysia’s Islamic fundamentalist opposition party protested in front of the British High Commission in this Muslim-majority nation over Britain’s decision to grant a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie.
About 25 activists from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party shouted “Crush Salman Rushdie” and “Damn Britain” as police stood watchduring the one-hour peaceful demonstration outside the British diplomatic mission in Kuala Lumpur.
The protesters dispersed after the party’s youth leader, Salahuddin Ayub, handed a protest note to a commission official.
“We consider this an irresponsible move by the British government,” Salahuddin said.
Britain announced Saturday it would award a knighthood to Rushdie, one of the most prominent novelists of the late 20th century, along with CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour, a KGB double agent and several others.
The knighthood to Rushdie has also triggered massive protests in Pakistan.
Rushdie went into hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a 1989 religious edict ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because his novel “The Satanic Verses” allegedly insulted Islam. Iran’s government said in 1998 it would not support but could not rescind the fatwa. (PR-inside, 20/6/07)