Hard-Line Pakistani Wants Knighthood for Usama Bin Laden

An outraged Pakistani lawmaker is demanding that the title "Sir" be bestowed on the world's most wanted terrorist, Usama bin Laden, claiming it's only fair since Queen Elizabeth II has already done the same for the Muslim world's most hated author, Salman Rushdie.

"Muslims should confer the 'Sir' title and all other awards on bin Laden and [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar in reply to Britain's shameful decision to knight Rushdie," Sami ul Haq, leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, said in a statement.

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Rushdie, 60, was on the list last Saturday of those to be knighted as part of the queen's annual at birthday honors announcement. Rushie's "The Satanic Verses" was first published in 1989 and sparked throughoug the Muslim world.

The novel and Rushdie also became the subject of a fatwa, a religious edict, by late Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomenei, who demanded the writer be put to death.