Salman Rushdie dismisses latest death threat
NEW YORK (AP) - Salman Rushdie is dismissing the latest threat against his life as just talk.
"This was essentially one priest in Iran looking for a headline," the author of The Satanic Verses said on Tuesday night as he spoke about his new memoir before about 400 people in New York, some who were just children when Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 declared Rushdie's novel was blasphemous and called for his death.
Iran's government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini's decree, his fatwa, but anti-Rushdie sentiment remains. A semi-official Iranian religious foundation headed by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii has raised the bounty for Rushdie from US$2.8 million (S$3.4 million) to US$3.3 million after recent protests against an anti-Islamic film that helped lead to riots around the Middle East.
But Rushdie, who called the movie "the worst video on YouTube," says Ayatollah Saneii has long offered a bounty and few people have taken him seriously.