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New Muslim chief condemns Rushdie

The new leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain renewed its support yesterday for the fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. Confirming the death sentence, Dr Muhammad Gha- yasuddin said there would be "no joy" for Rushdie, whose book The Satanic Verses is considered blasphemy by Muslims.

Dr Ghayasuddin's stance echoes the hard line taken by his predecessor Dr Kalim Siddiqui. Two weeks before his death last month Dr Siddiqui, 65, insisted that the fatwa imposed by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 should remain in force.

Dr Ghayasuddin, 57, said: "The entire Muslim Parliament is together on this matter. There will be no joy for him. As far as the honour of the prophet of Islam is concerned, this is fundamental to our belief in God."