LATEST: Celebrated author Salman Rushdie's knighthood has been condemned by the country that issued a fatwa against him in 1989. The writer was feted in British monarch Queen Elizabeth II's Honours List last week (ends15Jun07) but the accolade has been slammed by Iran as "a blatant example of the anti-Islamism of senior British officials". The country took offence to Rushdie's Muslim references in controversial 1988 work The Satanic Verses, and put a bounty on his head a year later. Now Iran's Foreign Ministry has expressed astonishment the novelist has been celebrated for his alleged blasphemy. Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini says, "Giving a medal to someone who is among the most detested figures in the Islamic community is... a blatant example of the anti-Islamism of senior British officials. "The measure that has taken place for paying tribute to this apostate and detested figure will definitely put British statesmen and officials at odds with Islamic societies, the emotions and sentiments of which have again been provoked."