February 14th is the day Founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Ruhollah Khomeini issued the historic verdict declaring Salman Rushdie an apostate.
Rushdie, a British Indian novelist and writer was sentenced to death by Imam Khomeini for insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, which was written in 1988 and sparked global protests by Muslims around the world.
Back in 1989 on the same day, Imam Khomeini's fatwa was issued to warn the Islamic governments and followers of other divine religions about a vicious media war started by Western regimes and the Zionists, with the imperialist United States topping the list.
According to sources, have (sic) the verdict been applied back then, no one would have dared to repeat blasphemous acts against religious sanctities and characters. Yet, during the past decade, there were repetitive attempts of insulting Islam, be it through burning copies of the Holy Quran, issuing and publishing sacrilegious cartoons and profane movies that offend either Islamic teachings or the person of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).Everybody sing..."feelings, whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings....:
Iranian MP, Mustafa Kavakebian, on this issue said "Everyone should know that insulting the sacred concepts of a huge population in the world will see a great punishment by the one who has committed it. Insulting to the sacred concepts is completely different from having freedom of speech. The Western governments by the excuse of speech freedom, shouldn't oppose Imam's fatwa. Because insulting the feelings of the majority of world's population is a crime against humanity."...
In case you think only Khomeinists and other hyper-sensitive Islamists feel this way, allow me to quote one of my son's teachers (my son is in Grade 9). Just the other day this teacher shut down a discussion in his classroom about free speech with this salvo: "We have free speech in Canada--as long as it doesn't impinge on the rights of others."
That's more or less what the Khomeinists say, minus the "crime against humanity" stuff, of course.
Update: Grandiose Ayatollah Hall and her censorious ilk are onside with this line of thinking, too.