Salman Rushdie, the novelist condemned to death by Iran for allegedly blaspheming Islam, believes a "time for healing" will enable him to emerge from hiding, according to an interview released Friday.
His comments to the United News of India were among a series of attempts this week aimed at ending his isolation. Rushdie on Monday affirmed his belief in Islam and said he would not support a paperback printing or further translations of his novel, "The Satanic Verses."However, a religious leader in Iran responded by saying the nation would not lift the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's call to kill Rushdie for his novel.
In a guest editorial Friday in The Times of London and The New York Times, Rushdie said he regretted "the renewed threats from Tehran and cannot help wondering why the British government seems no longer to feel any need to respond to such threats."
The Indian news agency quoted Rushdie as saying: "Gradually, good will can replace ill will. There is a feeling that enough has been done (to me)."
"Most Moslems are not violent or bloodthirsty. Though Moslems throughout the world now know me by name, relatively few Moslems know what sort of person I am, and they could be willing to listen to me," he was quoted as saying.
Rushdie, a British national who was born in India, went into hiding in Britain in February 1989 after the death call.
He emerged in recent weeks for a television interview in London and showed up unannounced at a London bookshop to autograph copies of his newest book, "Haroun and the Sea of Stories."
In the interview with United News of India, Rushdie was quoted as saying: "I don't think I can call myself a good Moslem, but I am Moslem . . . "