As protests rise over a film made in the USA that makes fun of the Islam prophet Mohammed, an Iranian religious foundation has increased its reward for the killing of British author Salman Rushdie - a man who has nothing to do with the film in question. Over the past week there has been trouble across the Middle East in response to the film, with violence in Libya, Sudan, Tunisia and Pakistan among other places.
Rushdie has nothing to do with the film in question, but did write the book The Satanic Verses in 1989, after which Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's religious edict put a bounty on his head after what they believed to be blasphemous comments about the Prophet Mohammed. The proclamation forced Rushdie into hiding for a decade, and resulted in the death of his Japanese translator and the injuring of his Italian one too.
Now, NBC is reporting that a statement released in Iranian media by the same edict's current leader Hassan Sanei reads "I am adding another $500,000 to the reward for killing Salman Rushdie, and anyone who carries out this sentence will receive the whole amount immediately." It's believed that the reward now stands at $3.3 million. "Surely if the sentence of the Imam (Khomeini) had been carried out, the later insults in the form of caricatures, articles and the making of movies would not have occurred," Sanei added.