The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says those who desecrated the Holy Qu’ran should learn from the fate of anti-Islam notorious novelist Salman Rushdie as Muslims will punish them.
Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks in an address to the closing ceremony of the 12th round of Holy Qu’ran Competitions in Iran's northeastern city of Mashhad on Thursday.
Salami said the light and glow of the Qu’ran is so “magnificent” that enemies cannot bear it and so they desecrate it.
“We say to those who burned the Qu’ran that this fire will engulf your body and turn your bodies into corpses. Live a secret life as of today and suffer nightmares every night, [as] Muslims will not leave you alone even if decades pass,” the IRGC commander underlined.
Warning that the Iranian youths face enemies’ conspiracies as the foes try to drive them away from religion and push them to accept the Western culture, Salami said, “It is a source of pride that the youths of our country live with the Qu’ran and we all learn life lessons from this heavenly book.”
Rushdie is the author of “The Satanic Verses”, a blasphemous novel about Islam published in 1988 which sparked Muslims’ outrage across the globe.
Rushdie went into hiding in 1989 under a British government protection program, which included a round-the-clock armed guard. He re-emerged after nine years of seclusion and cautiously resumed more public appearances in a publicity campaign against what he labeled as “religious extremism overall.”
Last August, the British-American author was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey man, who injured the writer in the neck and torso just before he was to give a lecture at Chautauqua Institution, a retreat about 19 kilometers from Lake Erie in North America.
Rushdie’s agent says the author has lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand as a result of the attack, according to reports.
Salami’s remarks came days after a Dutch far-right politician tore apart a copy of the Holy Qur'an in the city of The Hague. It followed an incident in Sweden where a politician burned a copy of the Qur’an outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
The politician committed the scandalous act after receiving permission from Swedish authorities who provided police guards to ensure nobody prevented it.
The outrageous acts have drawn strong condemnation from Muslims, with many states such as Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates denouncing the provocative and Islamophobic move.
Turkey summons Norwegian ambassador over planned protest
In a separate development on Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Norway’s Ambassador Erling Skjonsberg over authorities’ permission for a planned protest on Friday that includes desecrating the Muslim holy book.
“Upon learning that there will be an attack against our holy book, the Qu'ran, in Norway tomorrow, the Norwegian ambassador to Turkiye [Turkey] has just been summoned to our ministry,” a Turkish diplomatic source told state news agency Anadolu.
“[Norway’s] approach not to prevent the planned provocative act, which is clearly a hate crime … is unacceptable and we expect this act not to be allowed,” the source added.
Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a statement that Ankara had raised the planned demonstration in a meeting.
Ankara strongly condemned a protest that included the burning of a copy of Qu'ran last month near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.