Iranian school children get a new video game: “Execute British writer Salman Rushdie and Win”

For those parents who are worried about the conceivable connection between violence in western video games and children’s aggression, Iranian state-funded “Islamic Association of Students” offers an alternative: “Let’s play the Killing of British writer Salman Rushdie.”

The game producer, “Islamic Association of Students” is a state run organization, fully subsidized by Iran’s ministry of education which serves under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seen by many in west as reformist.

The game producer is the same organization that asked Iranian school children in June 2016 to submit their compositions, drawings and other school projects for a competition on “How to wipe Israel off the map by 2040” following Khameni’s vow that Israel will not exist in 2040. Again, every one of those activities is being completely funded by President Rouhani’s ministry of education.

Left: 2040: Israel's Nightmare Right: Rushdie I will Kill you!
Left: 2040: Israel’s Nightmare Right: Rushdie I will Kill you!

The Rushdie killing game is titled: “Nightmare of Death,” according to a recent Iranian state-run TV IRIB report. It is being produced for school children and soon will be distributed to all Iranian schools by the ministry of education. “Nightmare of Death” has seven levels. Each symbolizes an icon of western civilization and players will be challenged to find Salman Rushdie in several homes and subsequently kill him to win the game.

Despite the fact Khomeni’s fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie to be killed goes back to 1989, the Iranian state-issued bounty on him has constantly been increased. Ayatollah Khomeini’s predecessor, Ali Khamenei, issued a second fatwa declaring killing Salman Rushdie to be an eternal and unchangeable order.

To this day, not a single figure within Iranian political establishment, reformist or conservative ever publicly challenged Khomeni’s fatwa or the state bounty for killing Salman Rushdie.

Indeed even some Iranian reformist opposition figures currently in western exile have not publicly rejected Khomein’s fatwa, despite massacres like Charlie Hebdo which are seen by many as another episode of blasphemy killings started by Khomeini’s fatwa in 1989.

Khomeini's Fatwa

Since Khomenei’s fatwa, Rushdie has been living under police protection and has survived several assassination plots. Perhaps most famously,in 1989 21 year-old Lebanese-Iranian Hezbollah operative Mostafa Mazeh died while preparing a book bomb in a Paddington London Hotel room.

Since his death the Islamic Republic of Iran has asked many foreign celebrities visiting Iran to visit his symbolic martyrdom shrine and pay their respects. Celebrities as such as Ronnie Coleman an American retired bodybuilder have been brought by Iranian authorities to pay respect to Mazeh as the first martyr of Rushdi’s assassination.

British Embassy in Tehran
British embassy in Tehran

There have been several killing or stabbings of Rushdie’s translators and publishers in Italy, Norway and Turkey but perhaps the most surreal martyrdom case is of Ebrahim Etaai, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) agent who died while trying to assassinate Salman Rushdie. Hundreds of Iranian official media outlets printed an enormous amount of material, for example, interviews with his mother, brother, friends and many high-ranking Iranian officials, who described Ebrahim as a devoted Islamist who felt ordered by Khomeini to kill Salman Rushdie.

Months after the publication of those interviews, Amir Abbas Jafari, an Iranian extremist writer, publicly reported that he made the invented character of Ebrahim Atai up, as the main character in a state propaganda novel titled “A Visa to Paradise.” In an absurd reaction, many Iranian high-ranking figures close to Khamenei rejected the writer’s claim and insist on Ebrahim Ataie’s real existence to this day.

Iranian dissidents and human rights activists have repeatedly urged the US, British and European governments to put sanctions on the Iranian supreme leader’s financial entities related to the public announcement of three million dollars reward for anyone who kills Salman Rushdie. Following the Iranian nuclear deal with the Obama administration, a large portion of those entities have been delisted from sanction lists by the US and the EU despite their continuous role in terror sponsorship and human rights violations. Just in January 2016, Reuters revealed several European deals with Khamenei related firms.

About the Author
Nima Rashedan was among the first Iranian cyber-activists. In 1998 as pro-democracy journalist he was arrested and served time in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, including a month in solitary confinement. After his release, Rashedan immigrated to Switzerland. He now lives in Central Europe and continues his work as a dissident and advocate. A frequent focus of his work is the similarity between the methods and objectives of the current Iranian regime and those of the former Soviet Union.
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