Photo Credit: Alexander Baxevanis / Flickr / CC20
Salman Rushdie. May 25, 2008.

Iran’s proxies and loyalists are threatening to murder renowned Lebanese media personality Dima Sadek because she dared to criticize the stabbing of Indian-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie in Chautauqua, New York last week.

Since the stabbing attack, Sadek has been subjected to a campaign of incitement and threats of murder and rape through social media posts and text messages sent to her personal phone number.


The threats began immediately after she posted on Twitter a picture of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the first “Supreme Leader” of Iran, and Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander assassinated by the US in Iraq in 2020.

Sadek wrote on top of the picture: “The Satanic Verses.” That is the name of the Rushdie’s novel, inspired by the life of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, and published in 1988.

The next year, Khomeini called for Rushdie’s death through a fatwa (religious decree) that urged “Muslims of the world rapidly to execute the author and the publishers of the book,” so that “no one will any longer dare to offend the sacred values of Islam.”

Hours later, Sadek posted on her Twitter account that she has received death threats and was facing a campaign of incitement, especially from the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah and its supporters in Lebanon.

“Since the morning, I have been subjected to an incitement campaign that has reached the point of publicly calling for bloodshed,” Sadek wrote.

“The campaign was launched by Jawad Hassan Nasrallah (son of the Secretary-General of Hezbollah). Therefore, I hope to consider this tweet as a message to the Lebanese authorities. I also publicly and officially hold the leadership of Hezbollah fully responsible for any harm that may happen to me from now on.”

She also posted on Twitter a sample of the threats directed at her. “Hey Dima Sadek, I would like to tell you that if I happen to see you one day, I’m going to rape you in front of everyone,” wrote Nabil Kobaisi, a Lebanese man.

Another threat, from Lebanese citizen Hassan Al-Ali, included Sadek’s picture with the comment: “You are next [after Salman Rushdie].”

Expressing outrage over the threats, Lebanese journalist Ghada Oueiss wrote to her 1.1 million followers on Twitter: “Whenever they [Islamists] disagree with a woman, they accuse her of treason, threaten her with rape and torture, and bully her family.”

Lebanese academic Antoine Haddad also lashed out at Hezbollah and other Islamists around the world for threatening the TV presenter:

“The organized campaign against Dima Sadek is an extension of the culture of letting the blood of Salman Rushdie and everyone who disagrees with them. Get out of the Middle Ages and learn how to live with other people’s opinions.”

Sadek has good reason to be worried for her life. Most of the threats she received came from supporters of Hezbollah, the terrorist group that effectively controls Lebanon and reports directly to the mullahs in Iran.

The terrorists and their masters in Tehran may still have not issued a fatwa to murder her, but the threats alone are sufficient to force her and her family to change their lifestyle and probably live in hiding or under protection, as Rushdie had to do for more than three decades.

The Lebanese have long learned that threats by Hezbollah should never be taken lightly. This is the same group whose members have been convicted of conspiring in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in a 2005 bombing in Beirut. Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, had close ties with the West and Sunni Gulf countries. He was seen as a threat to Iranian influence in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, in addition, has a long history of intimidating anyone who dares to criticize it or its leaders.

Recently, supporters of Hezbollah attacked Lebanese journalist Hasan Shaaban while he was covering a sit-in strike by villagers protesting against the water shortages to their town.

Shaaban told the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news website that he was attacked by supporters of Hezbollah while filming a protest against the water crisis that the town has been suffering from for a long time. He added that a group of people severely beat him and threatened to kill him if he did not leave town.

He said that despite the threats and a bullet that was placed on the window of his car, he will continue to do his job.

On the same day that Sadek was receiving threats of murder and rape, Taliban militiamen in Kabul beat women protesters and fired into the air. The women, chanting “Bread, work and freedom,” marched in front of the education ministry building in the Afghani capital before the militiamen dispersed them by firing their guns into the air. Some women who took refuge in nearby shops were chased and beaten by Taliban thugs with their rifle butts.

“Just like the Mullahs [of Iran], Taliban’s main enemies are women and freedom of speech,” commented Nervana Mahmoud, a respected Egyptian political commentator on Islamism.

In another post, Mahmoud pointed out that she saw no real difference between the various Islamist terrorist groups:

“Salafis, Taliban, Mullahs, [Muslim] Brotherhood, Haqqanis [an Afghan Islamist group] , may have theological differences among themselves, but they all agree on three things: Murder for Blasphemy, Endorsing misogyny, rejecting free speech. The rest is gibberish !

The stabbing of Salman Rushdie and the threats against the Lebanese female journalist should be as part of the Islamists’ ongoing jihad (holy war) against anyone who dares to disagree with them or even criticize them.

It is the mullahs of Iran, whose media has welcomed and praised the stabbing attack on Rushdie, that are inspiring, funding and arming Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Yemeni Houthis and other Islamist terrorist groups around the world.

In Iran, the mullahs have stepped up their efforts to enforce hijab compliance as part of a wider clamp-down on dissent.

In July, Iran executed at least 71 prisoners, including four women, according to Iran Human Rights Monitor. Most of the women executed in Iran are themselves victims of domestic violence and kill in self-defense, the group noted.

Without the US support for the mullahs, these groups would not be threatening to rape and kill women. Without the US support for the mullahs, these groups would not be launching drone and missile attacks on America’s allies.

These are the same mullahs who are now hoping that the Biden administration will reward them with hundreds of billions of dollars as part of a new nuclear deal between Iran and the Western powers.

The mullahs will undoubtedly use the money to continue their campaign of murder and intimidation. They will also use the money to consolidate their occupation of four Arab countries – Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen – and continue their savage persecution not only of people such as Salman Rushdie, Dima Sadek and Hasan Shaaban, but also women, their own citizens, and eventually “The Great Satan.”

{Reposted from the Gatestone Institute site}


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Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.