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Author Salman Rushdie is expected to emerge from nearly two years of hiding to travel to Egypt early next year at the invitation of Muslim scholars and President Hosni Mubarak, the weekly Observer newspaper reported Sunday.

Such a trip would be in defiance of threats by Iranian religious leaders to kill the Indian-born author for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his novel "The Satanic Verses."

It followed Rushdie's announcement Dec. 24 that he had embraced Islam and would oppose further translations of his book. In recent weeks, he has broken his isolation somewhat with quick visits to bookstores and interviews, but he remains in hiding.

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