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Muslim Association Chief in Norway Threatens Rushdie’s Life

March 4, 1994

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ The head of a Muslim organization in Norway on Friday threatened to kill Salman Rushdie if the British author comes to a conference on freedom of expression.

A day earlier, the National Writers’ Association invited Rushdie and other writers who have been exposed to death threats to a Sept. 21-23 conference in Stavanger, Norway.

″If I get hold of weapons and if I have the opportunity of getting to him - then I won’t give him up,″ said Ibrahim Yildiz, president of The Muslim Association of Rogaland in western Norway.

His comments were broadcast on radio by NRK Rogaland. The national news agency NTB said police in Stavanger brought Yildiz in for questioning, then released him without charge.

Neither police investigators nor Yildiz could be reached for comment.

Rushdie is under a death order issued by the late leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, for writing the book ″The Satanic Verses,″ which Khomeini considered blasphemous to Islam. Others connected with publication or distribution of the book also have been targeted for death.

William Nygaard, publisher of the Norwegian translation, was shot last October outside his Olso home, and now lives under police protection. No arrests have been made.

Czech President Vaclav Havel, American writer Susan Sontag, Carlos Fuentes of Mexico and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Colombia are also to be invited to the conference.

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