Inviting Salman Rushdie ‘hurts Muslim religious feelings’

TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (MNA) – Minister of Culture has sent a letter to his counterparts in all Islamic countries to condemn Frankfurt Book Fair invitation of Salman Rushdie as keynote speaker.

Ali Jannati’s letter dated Wednesday October 14, said that inviting a writer which had hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims in his book “Satanic Verses” 3 decades ago, would only pour fuel to sectarian violence and interfaith hatred; “the book fair should be a ground for respecting all religions and beliefs, and make possible cultural cooperation; Frankfurt Book Fair has violated this important criteria in inviting an individual which had been hated by Muslims for desecration of the Prophet of Islam in his book,” reads part of the letter.

“In all thought systems, freedom of speech and expression is only respectable to the extent that it clearly respects the public ethical principles and the rules of a fair conduct; whereas, the book by Salman Rushdie blatantly violated the globally recognized principles of conduct and the human rights charter which states that all sacred figures of all religions should be respected,” said the letter, “we believe inviting Salman Rushdie as a keynote speaker to this year’s edition of Frankfurt Book Fair would discredit the authenticity and fame of the Fair as one of the world’s greatest book events, and will also deepen the gaps between Islam and the west which are already divided over desecrations of Prophet of Islam in print media,” it emphasized.

The letter directly addresses Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and all Ministers of Culture of Islamic countries, demanding them to ‘take positions against the act by the organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair,’ believing that the act would only be an insult to the Islamic world and wet the Islamophobic feelings of extremists around the world.

Iran is a regular participant of Frankfurt Book Fair; however, after the organizers had announced that Salman Rushdie would address the opening session, Iran officially pulled out of the fair in a statement published earlier this week, with Ministry of Culture voicing its harshest criticism for the invitation of the notorious author of “Satanic Verses.”

SH/IRN81798914

News Code 111051

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