Indian Muslim Group Urges Ban on Author Salman Rushdie

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 8:35 am (UTC-5)
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Prominent Muslim clerics in India are urging the government to ban author Salman Rushdie from entering the country to attend a literary festival.

Rushdie's 1988 book The Satanic Verses was considered blasphemous by many Muslim leaders. The Indian-born author spent years in hiding after Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death. The book is still banned in India.

On Tuesday, an official at the prominent Darul Uloom Deoband seminary called for officials not to grant Rushdie a visa. Maulana Qasim Nomani said the author's writings have hurt Muslim feelings and he should not be allowed to enter India.

Rushdie responded by posting on Twitter that he does not need a visa to come to India. He was due to attend a literary festival in the Indian city of Jaipur that begins January 20.

The seminary in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh is known for conservative teachings thought to have shaped the views of some radical Islamist groups, including the Taliban.