Britain's decision to award Salman Rushdie a knighthood set off a storm of protest in the Islamic world today, with a Pakistani government minister giving warning that it could provide justification for suicide bomb attacks.
[Rushdie] has lived under police protection since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran pronounced a fatwa (death sentence) on him over alleged blasphemies against Islam in his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.
Today, Pakistan's religious affairs minister suggested that the knighthood was so grave an offence that any Muslim anywhere in the world would be justified in taking violent action.
"If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified," Mr ul-Haq told the National Assembly.
The minister, the son of Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator who died in a plane crash in 1988, later retracted his statement in parliament, then told the AFP news agency that he meant to say that knighting Rushdie would foster extremism.
"If someone blows himself up he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West?" he said....
So, is Islam a religion of peace? What a fucking joke!