Indian Muslims Burn Rushdie Effigy

February 13, 1999 - 0:0
NEW DELHI Indian Muslims on Friday gathered outside Delhi's Jama Masjid (mosque) and burnt an effigy of British apostate author Salman Rushdie in protest against the grant of an Indian visa to him. Death to Rushdie, Death to His Protectors, Death to Those Who Have Invited Him, the protesters shouted as they set fire to the author's effigy soon after Friday prayers.

Indian government said last week it had granted a visa to Rushdie to visit his country of origin, triggering off a storm of protest from Muslims. Rushdie has blasphemed Islam in his book The Satanic Verses. This is just the beginning, we will go to any length to stop him from coming here, said Manzoor Hasan, secretary of the local unit of the National Students Union of India who ended a 24-hour fast outside the Jama Masjid, one of India's largest mosques.

We are prepared to shed our blood to stop this satan from stepping on Indian soil, said Mohammed Aleem leader of another local Muslim organisation. Muslim organisations have accused India's Hindu nationalist-led coalition government of playing with their emotions by inviting Rushdie into the country. This has been done to inflame passions, said Aleem. (Reuter)