CAIRO: The People’s Assembly denounced on Wednesday the recent knighting of controversial writer Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses, describing it as a worse error than the publication of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that sparked riots.
Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour, former deputy of Al Azhar and member of the Islamic Research Center told The Daily Star Egypt that “knighting a person who denounced Islam is provocative to Muslims.
Protests have erupted in Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan over the knighting, calling for the revocation of the award, and a renewed fatwa for Rushdie’s death.
In a statement, Egypt s parliamentary Arab Affairs Committee added, To honor someone who has become famous because of his hostility to Islam is a rejection of all diplomatic principles and respect for religions.
Head of the Religions Dialogue Committee at Al Azhar Sheikh Fawzy El Zefzaf, had a different reaction
“What can Egypt do? A country wants to knight certain people, it is none of my business, Zefzaf told The Daily Star Egypt. He replied angrily to the questions regarding Rushdie, concerned that the media was trying to “cause problems.
Iran’s late supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa against Rushdie’s life in 1989 for insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad in his works, which have received top honors.
Rushdie was knighted on Saturday in Queen Elizbeth II s birthday. With additional notes from AFP.