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Nadwah - Hong Kong - 2 July 2008

Daily Express



The controversial author Salman Rushdie has been knighted by the Queen.

Muslims around the world condemned the award when it was announced last year in the Monarch's Birthday Honours list.

The author, who has written a number of acclaimed books, received his knighthood for services to literature.

At the time of the announcement he said he was "thrilled and humbled" to receive the "great honour" but the decision was strongly criticised by a number of countries including Pakistan whose politicians passed a Government-backed resolution demanding Britain withdraw the knighthood.

Rushdie's life changed forever on February 14 1989 when Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him over his book The Satanic Verses.

The novel had already caused a storm in the UK, with copies publicly burnt on the streets of Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Khomeini called the book a blasphemy against Islam and sentenced Rushdie to death.

The writer was forced into hiding, guarded by Special Branch around the clock and moved 30 times in a bid to keep his whereabouts secret.

Finally, in 1998, the Iranian Government withdrew its support for the death sentence and Rushdie gradually returned to public life, even appearing as himself in the 2001 hit film Bridget Jones's Diary.



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