Jerusalem, Israel – An Islamic studies academic dubbed the “Professor of Peace” at Oberlin College in Ohio endorsed the campaign to assassinate U.S. and British writer Salman Rushdie because the famous novelist depicted the Muslim prophet Muhammad irreverently.
A 24-year-old man named Hadi Matar allegedly stabbed Rushdie on Friday in the neck and liver during the author’s speech in Chautauqua, New York. Rushdie is on a ventilator and cannot talk.
According to law enforcement officials, Matar’s social media footprint showed that he was a fan of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. Matar was also sympathetic to radical Shia Islamism—the governing religion of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
When asked about the then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa and the “right to put a bounty on someone’s head,” according to a 1989 Reuters report, Iranian scholar and former diplomat Mohammad Jafar Mahallati responded: “I think all Islamic countries agree with Iran. All Islamic nations and countries agree with Iran that any blasphemous statement against sacred figures should be condemned.”
Mahallati added, “I think if Western countries really believe and respect freedom of speech, therefore they should also respect our freedom of speech. We certainly use that right in order to express ourselves, our religious belief, in the case of any blasphemous statement against sacred Islamic figures.”
Fox News Digital sent a press query to Mahallati. An automatic reply from Mahallati’s Oberlin College email said: “Greetings! I am on summer leave. I will respond back whenever I can.” Fox News Digital also sent press queries to the president of Oberlin College, Carmen Twillie Ambar.
The prominent Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad took to Twitter to blast Mahallati. She wrote: “Guess who defends Khomeini’s FATWA against #Salman Rushdie? Mahallati the Islamic Republic’s former ambassador at the UN who is a now a professor at @oberlincollege.” Alinejad’s tweet went viral,…