"Just the Standard Rhetoric"
…Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Muslims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Rushdie was an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam, according to the Iranian media.
How very reassuring and level-headed of the British to respond by saying:
The Foreign Office said: “The key thing from our point of view is that the Iranian Government formally withdrew their support for the fatwa on Salman Rushdie in 1998 which is when Britain and Iran formally upgraded their relationship to the level of ambassador.”
“Almost every time that the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, gives a sermon he mentions Salman Rushdie in these terms and denounces him as a man who has insulted the name of the Prophet and who can therefore be killed. It’s just the standard rhetoric.”
Perhaps the Foreign Office ought to read up on the “big lie technique“, or other works on the effects of ongoing rhetoric on its listeners.
(Quotes are from The Times, via JihadWatch.) It’s a very sad day when no one speaks out for Mr. Rushdie’s right to free speech, without fear of reprisal.