EXCLUSIVE: Iran to be the guest of honor at Italy's main book fair

In the 2020 main Italian Book Fair, the guest of honor is to be the country that is still trying to kill Salman Rushdie - and is a grave and prison for other writers.

Giulio Meotti, | updated: 06:58

giulio meott
giulio meott
צילום: עצמי
Three years ago, the Turin Book Fair was forced to quickly withdraw its decision to invite Saudi Arabia as its guest of honor. What did the Sunni floggers who torture blogger like Raif Badawi in the square, who jailed those found in possession of a cross and who mistreat women, doing in the main Italian book fair?

For 2020, Turin will try again to appease the Islamist regimes by inviting Iran as the guest of honor.

It is not just that Iran hangs innocent people, that it is pursuing the destruction of Israel, finances terrorism all over the world, prevents women from walking in the street without a veil and just tried to blow up a group of dissidents gathered in Paris. The specific piroblem in this case is that Iran under the ayatollah has become a
The most famous poet of the young Iranian generation, Payam Feili, whose works are banned in Iran, today lives in Israel.
grave and a prison for many writers, intellectuals and poets.

99 lashes for having “insulted the divinity”, as well as for shaking hands in public with a woman who is not part of his family, is the condemnation that the Iranian regime has inflicted on the poet Mehdi Mousavi. In the past, the Iranian regime has also killed many writers. The most famous poet of the young Iranian generation, Payam Feili, whose works are banned in Iran, today lives in Israel.

In May, Massimo Bray, former Minister of Culture of the Italian government and now president of the Turin Book Fair, flew to Tehran to meet the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic guide, Abbas Salehi, as guest of the Book Fair of the Islamic Republic. Last week, the Italian media announced that the Turin Book Fair Iran will have Iran as the guest of honor for the 2020 edition.

Salehi's curriculum vitae should prompt Bray and Lagioia to review their decision.

In 2016, the Iranian ayatollahs allocated another 600.000 dollars for the fatwa by which the ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 condemned to death the writer Salman Rushdie, the author of the “Satanic Verses”, thus bringing the size of the bounty to 3.4 million dollars. Speaking to the press agency of the regime Fars, the then deputy minister of Culture Salehi said that “Imam Khomeini’s fatwa is a religious decree and it will never lose its power or fade out”. It is a confirmation of the death sentence of the writer who still lives under protection.

That decree would have also influenced the Kouachi brothers in their decision to massacre the Paris editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo in 1989, Rushdie's condemnation was not only the order to destroy a book, but also the right to the life of its author. There was no exile in which Rushdie could take refuge. In 2015 it was up to Salehi to announce the decision of the Iranian regime to boycott the Frankfurt Book Fair for having hosted Rushdie. Again, Salehi reiterated his support for the death sentence. Many of Rushdie's translators have been killed and wounded for that fatwa.

If that is not enough, Salehi was the director of the International Book Fair in Teheran, where numerous books have been confiscated by the regime. Not only that, but in 2013 Salehi, then director of the Book Fair, accompanied President Hassan Rohani to the inauguration. In the stands of the regime there were the great classics of anti-Semitism, such as the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Salehi would also bring the “Protocols” to the Iranian stand of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The publishing world certainly did not stand out for its courage from the beginning of the fatwa against Rushdie. The French publishing house Christian Bourgois refused to publish him, like the German publisher Kiepenheuer. The Greek publisher postponed the publication. In the United States many bookstores, like Walden Books, kept the book under the table for weeks. The Oxford University Press decided to participate at the Tehran Book Fair together with two American publishers, McGraw-Hill and John Wiley, despite the request of Viking Penguin, publisher of Rushdie, to boycott the Iranians.

As it stands, Italy in 2020 will unroll a red carpet to the performers of the fatwa against Rushdie. Europe has a death wish.  








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