Salman Rushdie, a British-born Indian author, is controversial for his writings on religion and politics.
The first three of his novels, Grimus (1975), Midnight’s Children (81) and Shame (1883), were all praised. However, it was his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses that received criticism.
Some scenes from the 1988 book show a character based on the Prophet Muhammad. This was met with anger by some members of Britain’s Muslim community.
They considered it blasphemous.
Protests spread to Pakistan in January 1989. The spiritual leader of revolutionary Iran AyatollahRuhollah Khomeini condemned the book and issued an official fatwa against him.
For his execution, a bounty was offered.
The book was set on fire all over the globe and the translators were attacked. Hitoshi Igarashi was the one who translated the book into Japanese. He was assassinated in 1991.
Rushdie created an alias to hide behind Scotland Yard. He occasionally appeared in public.
Rushdie continued writing, despite being threatened with his life
He continued writing despite the danger to his life. In 1998, the Iranian government declared that it would not enforce the fatwa.
The fatwa wasn’t actually repealed. However, The Satanic Verses remain banned in Iran and other countries.
In 2012, Rushdie published a third-person memoir Joseph Anton about his experiences.
Three years later, he spoke in New York and stated that if you are a free speech organization, you must believe the value free speech.
“If you defend free speech that is consistent with your moral framework, that’s what’s normally called censorship.”
In 2007, he was knighted, a move which was criticized by the Iranian- and Pakistani governments.