Iran says boycott of Frankfurt Book Fair achieves goals

October 22, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati has said that Iran achieved all its main goals in the boycott of the Frankfurt Book Fair over its invitation of Salman Rushdie.

“Many world media visited Iran’s closed pavilion at the fair and reported that Iran has been absent to show its objection. They also filmed the banners displayed in Iran’s pavilion bearing mottos against Rushdie,” Jannati told the Persian service of MNA on Tuesday.

“Copies of ‘the Message of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to the Youth in Europe and North America’ published in English, Arabic and German were also distributed at Iran’s pavilion to visitors and the press during the fair,” he added.

He continued that Iran’s pavilion was not left unattended during the fair in order to prevent any groups from misusing the empty pavilion.

“We decided to show our objection and had also called on some Islamic countries to condemn the Frankfurt Book Fair over its invitation of Salman Rushdie,” he added.

In a letter sent to the cultural officials of some Islamic countries during the fair, Jannati had asked the countries to warn the organizers of the book fair that their action would promote offences against the Muslim Ummah and also intensify the atmosphere of radicalism and Islamophobia.

Jannati further noted that Iran has plans to attend future editions of the fair. “Naturally they will not invite Rushdie to the fair every year,” he concluded.

Iran boycotted the Frankfurt Book Fair after the organizers announced Rushdie would be the guest speaker for the fair’s opening press conference on October 13.

Rushdie is the author of “The Satanic Verses”, a blasphemous novel about Islam that was published in 1988.

The book sparked Muslims’ outrage, which culminated in a fatwa by Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, calling for Rushdie’s death.

Photo: Culture Minister Ali Jannati in an undated photo (Cinemapress/Amir-Hossein Ghazanfari)