The award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie has angered Muslim religious heads and political organisations in Jammu and Kashmir. They want the UK to apologise for “hurting the sentiments of Muslims across the world”.
The India-born writer, who was knighted on Saturday, faces a fatwa calling for his execution for writing the controversial novel, The Satanic Verses. The fatwa had been issued in 1989 by Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Kashmir’s Sunni religious head Maulana Mufti Bashiruddin on Tuesday said he too had issued a death fatwa against Rushdie which was still valid. “The knighthood for Rushdie is quite shocking. The UK must withdraw it,” he said.
Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah said the European Union should prevail upon the UK to withdraw the title.
Ayaz Akbar, spokesperson for the Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led faction of the Hurriyat Conference, said: “Britain should withdraw its decision and apologise.”
Islamic militant group Jamiatul Mujahideen has called for a shutdown in Kashmir on Friday.