Best-selling authors have expressed support for Sir Salman Rushdie by condemning an announcement by Iranian authorities that Tehran will be raising its bounty for the murder of the Indian-origin author.
Fellow authors and members of English PEN, which promotes free speech, supported Rushdie, saying he has shown the world that literature and free speech cant be taken for granted.
“Through his extraordinary books and bravery in the face of intolerance, Salman Rushdie has shown the world that literature and free speech can never be taken for granted,” the Independent quoted Hanif Kureishi, as saying.
Another English author Fay Weldon called for a ‘united front of defiance’.
“Appeasement is no answer, and why we drifted into the trouble we are in today,” said British novelist Lisa Appignanesi.
“Yet again a novelist is being used by politicians in their political machinations,” she added.
According to the paper, Rushdie is in New York where he is promoting the publication of a memoir chronicling his time living under a fatwa imposed by the late Ayatollah Khomeini over his novel, The Satanic Verses.
The tour has been overshadowed by a declaration from religious leader Hassan Sanei, head of the semi-official 15 Khordad Foundation, that he was adding another 500,000 dollars to the hardline group''s existing reward of 2.8 million dollars for killing the novelist.