28% of British Muslims in Poll Want Rushdie Dead

<i> Reuters</i>

Twenty-eight percent of British Muslims support Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s death sentence on writer Salman Rushdie, accused of blaspheming Islam, according to a Harris poll released Friday.

A big majority favor some form of personal action against Rushdie for writing “The Satanic Verses,” and nearly two-thirds want his novel publicly burned.

Home Office Minister John Patten described as “appalling” the apparent support for the death threat against Rushdie, who is still in hiding and under police protection. The death threat was issued in February by Iranian leader Khomeini, who died in June.