"The issue is not what Rushdie wrote (in his novel 'The Satanic Verses'). The real issue is that nobody has the right to inflict pain on a society. We should respect each other and then only we can live peacefully," he said.
It was only the community concerned that can decide what disturbs them, he observed at the Kolkata Literary Meet when he was asked to comment on the controversy surrounding Rushdie's failed visit to India. Even in a family, one cannot live by hurting the feelings of other members, the former cricketer said.
"You need to be sensitive to what others think... If it pains other people, then they should respect that," Khan said, adding he would like to blame the Muslim leadership for "having failed to make the British community understand the sentiments of Muslims".
"I blame the Muslim leadership for this. Our treatment of religion is different from the West. Some films in England even make fun of Jesus," the president of Tehreek-e-Insaf said.
The Satanic Verses was banned 20 years ago in many countries after Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini claimed that the novel's portrayal of Prophet Muhammad insulted Islam. Earlier this month, the author had to cancel his trip to India citing threats against his life for hurting the sentiments of Muslims.