alman Rushdie is an Indian novelist best known for the novels Midnight’s Children (1981) and The Satanic Verses (1988), for which he was accused of blasphemy against Islam.
Sir Salman Rushdie born on June 19, 1947, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. He is the only son of University of Cambridge-educated businessman and school teacher in Bombay. Salman Rushdie was educated in an Islamic environment in Bombay private school before attending The Rugby School, a boarding school in Warwickshire, England. He went on to attend King’s College at the University of Cambridge, where he studied history. Rushdie would later become a target of Muslim extremists, because his novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), led to accusations of blasphemy against Islam, forcing him to go into hiding for several years. Even his religion was very much a part of his childhood, his analytical consideration on the facts of the book was made a controversial threat to him. (https://www.biography.com/people/salman-rushdie-39245)
The Satanic Verses
In 1988 Rushdie published The Satanic Verses, a novel contained the Islamic miraculous practicality of Fatwa (A fatw? in the Islamic faith is a nonbinding but authoritative legal opinion or learned interpretation that the Sheikhul Islam, a qualified jurist or mufti, can give on issues pertaining to the Islamic law). And the main story was involved with a part by the life of Muhammad. Critics acclaimed it. In western world entitled this book as a standard quality novel and it won the Whitbread Award for novel of the year and was a finalist for the Booker Prize also.
The Islamic world drew their immediate condemnation for what was perceived to be its irreverent account of Muhammad. In many countries with large Muslim populations, the novel was banned and on February 14, 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran, issued a fatwa requiring the author’s execution. A reward was offered for Rushdie’s death and for a number of years the writer was forced to live under police protection.
To try and dial back the outrage, Rushdie issued a public apology and voiced his support for Islam. The heat around The Satanic Verses eventually cooled and in 1998, Iran declared it would not support the fatwa.
Muslim response to the book to be banned
The most of the countries where intense Islamic communities, the novel became instantly controversial, because of what some Muslims considered the book is insulting and showing contempt or lack of reverence to the holiness creator, or sacred things of Islam.
Islamic extremist was accused the book and Salman, misusing the freedom of speech. By October 1988, letters and phone calls arrived at Viking Penguin from many Muslims, angry with the book and demanding that it be withdrawn. Before the end of the month, the import of the book was banned in India, although possession of the book is not a criminal offence. In November 1988, it was also banned in Bangladesh, Sudan and South Africa. By December 1988, it was also banned in Sri Lanka.
Impact on incident
Rushdie had been informed of the fatwa issued by the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, calling for his execution for the crime of writing a novel, “The Satanic Verses”.
Word of the death sentence had extended among the related people to Salman and international media chambers. Thinking the fatwa was little more than the empty threat of a remote dictator. When religion pronouncements in such a kind of matters were rarely without outcome became world forums discussion. As far back as 1947, when merely a cleric, he had ordered the death of an Iranian education minister who within days was shot dead. And thereafter countless other political and intellectual opponents were to lose their lives on Khomeini’s command. Chatwin’s memorial service was to be Rushdie’s last public appearance for some time.
Public and media on the order of Ayatollah
The headline of the London evening paper read: EXECUTE RUSHDIE, ORDERS THE AYATOLLAH. “Salman had disappeared into the world of block caps,” wrote Amis. “He had vanished into the front page.” In fact he had moved with a Special Branch protection team to the Lygon Arms hotel in the Cotswolds. Actually a tabloid reporter happened to be in the next room, conducting an adulterous affair, and missed the biggest story of the year. That same evening Channel 4 broadcast a pre-recorded interview with Rushdie on The Bandung File. “It’s very simple in this country,” said the author, when asked about the demands that his book be withdrawn from shops. “If you don’t want to read a book, you don’t have to read it. It’s very hard to be offended by The Satanic Verses – it requires a long period of powerful reading. It’s a quarter of a million words.”
Political and Ethnical Impact on Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses affair was less a theological dispute than an opportunity to make use of political leverage. The background to the argument was the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran behavior to be the standard bearer of global Islam. The Saudis had spent a great deal of money exporting the fundamentalist or Salafi version of Sunni Islam, while Shiite Iran, still smarting from a tragic war and embarrassing for settlement with Iraq, was keen to reassert its credentials as the front line of the Islamic revolution. Both the Saudis and Iranians saw a new constituency, matured for development, in the small British protest groups that initially responded to The Satanic Verses with book-burning demonstrations. But in fact the protesters who took to the streets in Bradford and other mill towns were themselves the offspring of other far-off theocratic politics in the countries of Islamic extremist.
The Satanic Verses was published on 26 September 1988 and, after pressure from the Janata party, banned in India by Rajiv Gandhi’s government nine days later. Flushed with this success, Indians working for the Saudi-financed Islamic Foundation of Leicester suggested trying to get the book banned in Britain. A journalist-cum-theologian, Maududi preached that “for the entire human race, there is only one way of life which is Right in the eyes of God and that is al-Islam”.
In accordance with most Muslim countries, Iran did not ban The Satanic Verses. It was even reviewed in an Iranian newspaper. But noticing the protests in India and Britain, a delegation of mullahs from the holy city of Qum read a section of the book to Khomeini; including the part featuring a mad imam send away in the book, which was an obvious misrepresentation of Khomeini. One of the British diplomats in Iran said: “It was designed to send the old boy study on teaching.” So it was that the Iranians delivered the fatwa, thus winning the competition to be the greatest haters of Rushdie, and therefore the West, and all that involved.
Actions against to the book
Khomeini was stated in his speech later about the book. He said “the Satanic Verses was very important the “world devourers” because they had mobilized the “entire arrogance behind it”. It’s worth noting here that the book, written by an anti-colonialist, was indeed in part an attack, on the role of the clergy, the caste of priests that has no Quran authority. In this newspaper, just before the fatwa, Rushdie had written: “A powerful tribe of member of the clergy has taken over Islam. These are the present-day consider as it is a religion Police.”
Terror on Salman’s book
After published the book it was an unsafe time for Salman Rushdie. He had a security round-the-clock by bodyguards, and moved each time the security services became aware of one of the chain-gangs of Islam ethnic extremist plan to kill him. At that time British hostages held by Islamic extremists in Lebanon, Rushdie was advised by the authorities not to say or do anything that might antagonize their captors. Politicians of Britain had kept a safe public distance from Salman.
In April 1989 Collets, the left-wing bookshop and Dillons were firebombed for stocking the Rushdie novel. A month later there were explosions in High Wycombe and London’s King’s Road. There was a bomb in the Liberty department store which housed a Penguin Bookshop (Penguin was the publisher of The Satanic Verses) and at the York Penguin bookshop. Unexploded devices were also discovered at the Nottingham, Guildford and Peterborough branches of the store.
In August the same year Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh accidentally blew himself up in a Paddington hotel room while priming a bomb intended to kill Rushdie.
Iranian clergies confirmed that Rushdie still had to be killed even after Khomeini died. The following year Hitoshi Igarashi, Rushdie’s Japanese translator, was stabbed to death and Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator, seriously injured in another knife attack. In 1993 William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, was shot and injured, and Aziz Nesin, the Turkish translator, was the target of the Silvas massacre in Turkey that left 37 dead in a fire-raising attack on a hotel. For years the novel was withdrawn from display in shops around the world but it still became a bestseller in several countries, including America.
Viewpoint on the issue behind the Salman Rushdie
The Islamic cultural conflict is now internationally entertained. When the west world engaged in military invasion in to legitimate Islamic states in middle-east using various roguish hidden reasons, Islamic extremist operations activate obliviously. The events of 11 September 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians are the results as a repercussion.
Harold Pinter playwright
“A very distinguished writer has used his imagination to write a book and has criticised the religion into which he was born and he has been sentenced to death as well as his publishers. It is an intolerable and barbaric state of affairs.”
John Berger author and critic
“I suspect that Salman Rushdie, if he is not caught in a chain of events of which he has completely lost control, might, by now, be ready to consider asking his world publishers to stop producing more or new editions of The Satanic Verses. Not because of the threat to his own life, but because of the threat to the lives of those who are innocent of either writing or reading the book.”
Germaine Greer writer and academic
“I refuse to sign petitions for that book of his, which was about his own troubles.”
Jimmy Carter US president, 1977-81
“Rushdie’s book is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated … The death sentence proclaimed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, however, was an abhorrent response. It is our duty to condemn the threat of murder but we should be sensitive to the concern and anger that prevails even among the more moderate Muslims.”
John Le Carre author
“Again and again, it has been within his Rushdie’s power to save the faces of his publishers and, with dignity, withdraw his book until a calmer time has come … It seems to me he has nothing more to prove except his own insensitivity.”
Roald Dahl author
“Rushdie knew exactly what he was doing and cannot plead otherwise.This kind of sensationalism does indeed get an indifferent book on to the top of the bestseller list – but to my mind it is a cheap way of doing it.
Sir Geoffrey Howe foreign secretary, 1983-89
The British government, the British people, do not have any affection for the book … It compares Britain with Hitler’s Germany. We do not like that anymore than the people of the Muslim faith like the attacks on their faith contained in the book. So we are not sponsoring the book. What we are sponsoring is the right of people to speak freely, to publish freely.”