Rushdie supports mosque plans near Ground Zero

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

LONDON - Renowned author Salman Rushdie has reportedly expressed his support for plans to build a mosque close to Ground Zero in New York, 21 years after an Islamic leader issued a fatwa calling for his death.

Rushdie sparked outrage in 1988 with the release of his book “The Satanic Verses”, which then Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, said was an insult to Islam.

Khomeini responded by ordering Muslims to kill the “Midnight’s Children” writer the following year, prompting Rushdie to seek police protection and go into hiding for a decade when Iranian government officials ruled they would neither “support nor hinder assassination operations” on him.

Rushdie, 63, is now adamant nothing should stand in the way of the religious centre being built in the heart of downtown Manhattan, where the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place in 2001, reports

“It’s just a stupid argument. Of course, they should be able to build a mosque there,” the website quoted him as saying.

The plans have sparked protests from the families of those killed in the Twin Towers when Muslim extremists flew two planes into the high-rise buildings, and hundreds marched on the site of Ground Zero on the tragedy’s ninth anniversary on Saturday.

Property tycoon Donald Trump has offered to end the controversy surrounding the mosque plans by buying the site himself.

Filed under: Religion

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