An Iranian foundation has raised the ante against Rushdie by increasing the bounty for his death and has claimed that if the British writer had been killed earlier for blasphemy, the recent anti-Islam film would not have been made. As per a statement given out to the Iranian media by Hassan Sane'i, a cleric heading the 15 of Khordad Foundation, the bounty on Rushdie's head is being increased to another $500,000.
With the latest addition to the bounty, the total amount is $3.3 million for the death of Rushdie. A fatwa was slapped against Rushdie way back in 1989 by Iran for apparently hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims and insulting Prophet Mohammed.
The foundation added that unless Rushdie was killed, "the movie offending the prophet will not be the last contemptuous attempt." It added, "these days are the most appropriate time to carry it (Rushdie's murder) out."
The matter has resumed much importance in the backdrop of an American-made anti-Islam movie accusing Prophet Mohammed and his associates of sexual aberration. The same has offended Muslims across the world and considered blasphemous.
Rushdie has been hiding after Iran's spiritual leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued the 1989 fatwa against him for his book, The Satanic Verses.
Iran's foreign ministry convinced Britain in 1998 stating that the fatwa will not be implemented, but later they shifted their stand when current leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Jan 2005 reaffirmed that Rushdie's murder was authorised under Islam.