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Rushdie Labels Revolution in Iran as a Force for Evil

June 18, 1989|From Reuters

LONDON — British writer Salman Rushdie, in his first interview since being forced into hiding by death threats, has described the Islamic revolution in Iran as a force for evil.

The author of the controversial book, "The Satanic Verses," spoke bitterly to a British newspaper about the revolution ushered in 10 years ago when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the Shah of Iran.

"It ate most of the people that supported it. It ate the unions, it ate the women's groups, it ate the socialists and left behind only its own bloated members," he said in an interview published today in the Mail.

Rushdie has been under police guard since last February, when Khomeini denounced the novel as blasphemous and ordered Muslims to kill its author.

Rushdie, who described himself as a lapsed Muslim, said he felt saddened by the ban on his book by many Islamic countries and by the willingness of his critics to attack it without having read it. "They're willing to say things about my work which are not based on reading. But gradually the book will be read."

Rushdie indicated that the threats against his life were exaggerated, but the interviewer described him as "paralyzed by terror" when a car crashed noisily onto the pavement near a London house where they met.

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