Saudi Arabia summons Czech envoy over ‘Satanic Verses’


Saudi Arabia has summoned the Czech ambassador over a translation of British writer Salman Rushdie’s controversial book “Satanic Verses”, official media said on Friday.

The kingdom wanted to express its “condemnation and disapproval of translating the book”, and hopes the Czech government will stop publication of the work which is offensive to Islam and Muslims, the Saudi Press Agency quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official as saying.

“The kingdom urged that religion and cultures not be insulted in any way or form,” the report said.

In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a ‘fatwa’ that called for the killing of Rushdie.

Khomeini and many others in the Muslim world said he had depicted Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) irreverently.

On Wednesday, Iran said it will boycott next week’s Frankfurt Book Fair after organisers invited Rushdie, an atheist born to non-practising Muslims.

Rushdie has lived since 2000 in the United States and was knighted in Britain in 2007.