Highlights

  • Author Salman Rushdie has been living in the US for 20 years
  • His book The Satanic Verses led to death threats
  • Iran had issued fatwa against Rushdie

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Salman Rushdie stabbed: 'The Satanic Verses' and why the author lived under threat

His book The Satanic Verses fetched him death threats from Iran in the 1980s as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. Since then, the book has been banned in the country. Late Iran leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a 'fatwa' to kill Rushdie

The Satanic Verses, the book that came to people’s mind when the news about the Salman Rushdie’s stabbing broke.

After all, the India-born author has spent over 30 years of his life, including 9 years in hiding, living with death threats for that one book.

Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims and they accused him of insulting certain basic beliefs of Islam.

The book was banned in Iran the year it came out and in 1989 the country’s then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death. He also announced a bounty of $3 million for anyone who kills him.

According to Associated Press, at least 45 people were killed in riots over the book, including 12 people in Rushdie’s hometown of Mumbai. In 1991, a Japanese translator of the book was stabbed to death and an Italian translator survived a knife attack. In 1993, the book’s Norwegian publisher was shot three times and survived.

The death threats and bounty led Rushdie to go into hiding under a British government protection program from which he emerged 9 years later after the Iranian govt started distancing themselves from the fatwa.

But anti-Rushdie sentiments continued to linger. In 2016, Iranian state-run media outlets added $600,000 to the bounty on his head.

Salman Rushdie Latest NEWS LIVE Updates

Rushdie continued to write during hiding as well but under the pen name of Joseph Anton – chosen after his two favourite authors Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov.

In 2012, Rushdie published a memoir ‘Joseph Anton’ about the fatwa and his life in hiding.

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