Salman Rushdie - Twenty-Three Years After 'Satanic Verses': Controversy Reigns For Salman Rushdie

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Twenty-three years after the publication of Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie finds himself at the centre of controversy once more. At the time of its release, the publication of his novel forced Rushdie into hiding, as Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa against him, calling for his execution. Rushdie is about to publish his memoirs, entitled Joseph Anton. The timing of the publication comes at a tense time, as an anti-Islam movie entitled Innocence of Muslims has sparked outrage and violence across the Middle East. In an interview with Matt Lauer, Rushdie explained that he has no sympathy for the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. "He's done something malicious, and that's a very different thing from writing a serious novel," he explained in an interview on The Today show. The author then said: "he's clearly set out to provoke, and he's obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction than he hoped for. One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting." In a separate interview, with the BBC, Rushdie revealed that he did not think that Satanic Verses would have found a willing publisher in 2012. "A book which was critical of Islam would be difficult to be published now," he said and explained that there is currently a climate of "fear and nervousness." Undeterred by the increased price that has allegedly been placed upon his head, the Salman Rushdie Twitter page continues to be updated with links to his interviews and media releases.


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