Salman Rushdie, the British author of "The Satanic Verses," is wanted dead by a semi-official religious organization, who have upped the bounty for the writer to $3.3 million from $2.8 million.
Rushdie was initially condemned to death under a fatwa by Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, who said that "The Satanic Verses," which is based on Mohammed's life, was a blasphemous interpretation of the prophet, NDTV reported.
"I am adding another $500,000 to the reward for killing Salman Rushdie, and anyone who carries out this sentence will receive the whole amount immediately," said Hassan Sanei, the head of the 15 Khordad Foundation, in a statement carried by the Iranian Students' News Agency. "Surely if the sentence of the Imam (Khomeini) had been carried out, the later insults in the form of caricatures, articles and the making of movies would not have occurred."
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The increase in the reward for Rushdie's death comes on the heels of world-wide protests triggered by a film that portrays Mohammed in a negative light.
The Iranian government withdrew their support of the fatwa against the author in 1998, but also said it was unable to take back the death order, since under Islamic law fatwas can only be undone by whoever issued it, the Associated Press reported.
However, some of Iran's extremists argue Khomeini's fatwa is "irrevocable."
The statement from 15 Khordad said that, unless Rushdie were killed, "the movie offending the prophet will not be the last contemptuous attempt" against Islam, Agence France Presse reported.
The author had not commented on the increased bounty as of Sunday afternoon.
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