Iran warns Charlie Hebdo over Khamenei cartoons: ‘Look at Rushdie’

Tehran, Jan 11 (EFE).- The chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has warned French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo over allegedly insulting cartoons of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, asking its editors to “look at the fate of Salman Rushdie.”

The magazine last week published cartoons of Khamenei to mark the anniversary of the 2015 attack on its Paris offices that left 12 dead in a targeted strike for publishing controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Iran reacted angrily to the Khamenei caricatures by the magazine, which has a long history of publishing cartoons to mock Islamist leaders.

Undeterred by protests from the Iranian government, the magazine doubled down on trolling Khamenei and published fresh cartoons of the supreme leader on Tuesday.

“I advise the French and directors of the Charlie Hebdo magazine to take a look at the fate of Salman Rushdie,” the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Hossein Salami, said during an event on Tuesday.

“Do not play with Muslims, Salman Rushdie insulted the Quran and the holy Prophet of Islam 30 years ago and hid in dangerous places,” Salami said.

He said the magazine had “made a big mistake” and “sooner or later Muslims will take revenge.”

“You may arrest the avengers, but the dead will not come back to life,” Salami said.

He was speaking at a gathering in Zahedan in southeast Iran.

The Indian-origin British author was grievously injured on August 12 after a man stabbed him multiple times during an event in the United States.

The attacker jumped on the stage to attack Rushdie as he was about to speak at a literary conference in the US city of Chautauqua.

Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old attacker, was arrested and later told the New York Post in a prison interview that he had acted against Rushdie for “attacking Islam” in his book “the Satanic Verses.”

Rushdie faced constant threats to his life over the book since 1989, when the Iranian regime issued a fatwa – a religious edict – against him, forcing him to stay in hiding for years.

The novel, which combines philosophical musings and satirical fiction, has faced the ire of Muslims, many of whom consider it an insult to the Quran, Prophet Mohammad, and Islam.

The “Satanic Verses” book was banned in India, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.

The Iranian government has denied any involvement in the attack on Rushdie.

“After many years, a young Muslim took brave revenge on Salman Rushdie and no one could save him. Where is he now? Which situation is he in? We do not know,” Salami said.

Charlie Hebdo had called an international cartoon contest, #MullahsGetOut, to publish caricatures of the Iranian Supreme Leader in “support (of) Iranians who are fighting for their freedom.”

Tehran condemned the cartoons as an “insulting and indecent act of a French media.”

As a first response to the contest, Iran closed the French Research Institute in Iran on January 5 after “silence” in Paris. EFE

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