UK media is reporting that the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) praised the fatwa on Salman Rushdie less than a year ago, saying that “ordinary Muslims from all different backgrounds […] came with the understanding that this was wrong and they supported the fatwa against this”. According to a report by the Daily Mail:
August 20, 2022 The chairman of a British-based human rights organisation which has received over £1.4 million in charity cash praised the fatwa on Sir Salman Rushdie less than a year ago, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Massoud Shadjareh, founder and chairman of the controversial Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), spoke fondly of the death sentence imposed on the writer in 1989 following the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses. […] Addressing an Islamophobia conference last December, Mr Shadjareh said: ‘I am old enough to remember what was happening at the time of the Rushdie affair. ‘We weren’t organised as a Muslim community. We didn’t even have any huge national umbrella organisations. ‘But ordinary Muslims from all different backgrounds, even those who were not fully practicing, they came with the understanding that this was wrong and they supported the fatwa against this.’ Mr Shadjareh, 70, has previously described Iran’s infamous supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeni, who issued the fatwa, as a ‘torch of light for the whole of mankind’.
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Earlier this month, British-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed during an event in New York. Minutes after the attack, law enforcement officials arrested the alleged attacker, who had shared pro-Shi’ite extremist content on his social media accounts. Rushdie has faced death threats for more than 30 years over his novel “The Satanic Verses,” whose depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is seen by some Muslims as blasphemous. The book and its author were the subjects of a February 1989 fatwa calling for the death of Rushdie and his publishers issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran. The Global Influence Operations Report recently reported that many pro-Iranian media and social media accounts “enthusiastically welcomed” the stabbing.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is a UK-based NGO founded in 1997 and has had Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations since 2007. The IHRC website says it works with different organizations from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds “to campaign for justice for all peoples regardless of their racial, confessional, or political background.” The IHRC is considered supportive of the Iranian regime and has been central to organizing the events of the annual International Quds Day, initiated by the Iranian revolutionary regime for many years.