Salman Rushdie's Fatwa Will Become an Iranian Video Game

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An Iranian government-sponsored organization is developing a videogame called The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict, a game that if played right, presumably doesn't end well for the Satanic Verses author. According to The Guardian's Saeed Kamali Dehghan, the Islamic Association of Students announced it had finished the first phases of production at an International Computer Games Expo in Tehran this week:

Mohammad-Taqi Fakhrian of the student association said producing computer games was one way to combat the cultural war against Iran. "We felt we should find a way to introduce our third and fourth generation to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and its importance," he told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

As you may recall, Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini decreed in 1989 that Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses was an insult to Islam and called on Muslims to kill the British author, who went into hiding for a decade. (Rushdie's memoir of that time, Joseph Anton, is coming out in September.) So while there aren't many details about how the game is played, the title isn't particularly subtle about its virtual purpose. The New York Daily News' Alexander Nazaryan wins the award for most colorful speculation for how game might be played, making it sound like Grand Fatwa: New York: "Presumably, the new video game will have Iranian youth chasing down and killing the author in the West, perhaps even on the very streets of New York."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.