Iran officially pulls out of Frankfurt Book Fair

TEHRAN, Oct. 08 (MNA) – Iran’s Ministry of Culture has issued a statement officially announcing its pull-out from Frankfurt Book Fair.

The statement issued on Wednesday evening also invites other Islamic countries to take positions against ‘the Fair’s organizers’ provocative actions,’ said the ministry’s public relations and media office; “Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the most prestigious book events globally; however, in this year’s edition of the event, in flagrant contradiction to the objectives of the book fair and under the cover of respecting freedom of expression and thought, a figure who has garnered in the past only the hatred of the Islamic world for penning down “Satanic Verses,” to even find an opportunity to address in the occasion of unveiling one of his latest works, with content, directly or indirectly, disputing Islamic beliefs and thinking,” the statement read.

“It is unfortunate to see that the organizers of the event has lent themselves to the flattery of anti-Islamic and Zionist circles, and has hurt the religious sentiments of world Muslims under the pretext of and abusing ‘freedom of speech;’ glorification of a figure who has desecrated the sacrosanct figures of millions of believers is not only respecting freedom of expression, but it is also playing with the human and religious values, which actually gives anti-Islamist fanatics the grounds where to seek their unscrupulous objectives,” the statement lamented.

“Freedom of speech is a human value well-cherished by our national and religious culture; however, it would not be violated by politics, since it is not a political issue; we firmly believe that this great human achievement would not be cherished without respecting sanctities and values of religious communities and multitudes of believers; the Ministry of Culture, representing a nation which has always respected different cultures and religions, voluntarily abandons its rights to attend the book fair despite its preparation in advance along with its severe denunciation of the provocative action, and calls other Islamic countries to take positions against the act,” the statement emphasized.

Statement also recommends the organizers of Frankfurt Book Fair to ‘wisely eschew from partiality in dealing with the sublime concept of freedom of expression and to provide opportunities for cooperation with Muslim nations and countries through taking accurate measures.’

News Code 110821

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