Al-Qaeda threatens UK over Rushdie's knighthood

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Al-Qaeda's No.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri warned in a 20-minute audiotaped message that the knighthood of Salman Rushdie was defying the Islamic world by granting the honour to the author of The Satanic Verses, which was deemed an insult to Islam.

Al-Zawahri said in the message that a "very precise response" is in preparation to retaliate against this offence, "And if you did not understand, listen, we are ready to repeat it for you."

Rushdie was given the knighthood last month by Queen Elizabeth II. The United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the honor was not intended as an insult to Islam but was "a reflection of his contribution to literature."