Sacha Baron Cohen couldn’t have written it better.
Iranian video-game designers are hard at work on a challenging new project, which will ask players to simulate the ayatollah-ordered killing of author Salman Rushdie.
Details of the game came to light this week at the International Computer Games Expo in Tehran, where developers revealed that the game’s rather uncatchy title will be “The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict.”
The name appears to be a reference not to writer’s block, but to the 1989 death sentence issued against the Booker Prize winner by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who turned out not to be a fan of his 1988 tome “The Satanic Verses.” Some critics viewed the book as insufficiently respectful of the prophet Mohammed.
The exact nature of the new computer game is not known, but England’s Guardian newspaper speculates that “players will be asked to implement Khomeini’s call for the killing of Rushdie.” The game is being created by Iran’s Islamic Association of Students, and is still in the early stages of development.
Its premise may put viewers in mind of the recent Baron Cohen comedy “The Dictator,” in which the title character, a Middle Eastern despot, plays a video game inspired by the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.