Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses

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Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses

1aspirit
Redigeret: aug 14, 2022, 6:24 pm

Salman Rushdie, an author who has been facing death threats since the late 1980s because of his writing, was stabbed two days ago as he was about to give a lecture. I figure many of us are likely looking for more information as we learn about the attack. Here are several links and selected information that might be of interest.

"Who is Salman Rushdie, author who was attacked on stage in New York?" | USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2022/08/12/who-is-salman-rush...
This article indirectly suggests what prompted the latest attack? "Rushdie's most recent novel, Quichotte, published in 2019, puts his spin on the Miguel de Cervantes classic with a modern-day Don Quixote, satirizing former president Donald Trump's America. The book has been long-listed for the Booker Prize."

But it seems likely the attacker was inspired by previous violence over Rushdie's The Satanic Verses (1989).
"Salman Rushdie attack suspect: What investigators are saying" | ABC News (13 Aug 2022)
https://abcnews.go.com/US/salman-rushdie-attack-suspect-investigators/story

"Why Salman Rushdie's work sparked decades of controversy" | NPR.org
https://www.npr.org/2022/08/13/1117389122/salman-rushdie-satanic-verses-controve...
The initial backlash to The Satanic Verses included violent protests, bookstore fires, and the Iranian leader's 1989 call to assassinate Rushdie.

Photos: "A look back at the protests against Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses" | Firstpost (13 Aug 2022)
https://www.firstpost.com/photos/a-look-back-at-the-protests-against-salman-rush...

"'Satanic' Killers: When translators of Salman Rushdie’s 'The Satanic Verses' were attacked, killed" | Firstpost (13 Aug 2022)
https://www.firstpost.com/world/satanic-killers-when-translators-of-salman-rushd...
This summarizes attacks against The Satanic Verses translators Hitoshi Igarashi, William Nygaard, and Ettore Capriolo.

"Banned Books Week: The Satanic Verses" | Bellevue University's Facts From the Stacks (2014)
https://blogs.bellevue.edu/library/index.php/2014/09/banned-books-week-the-satan...
Censoring responses to The Satanic Verses also included the bombing of two bookstores in the USA (and five in the UK). Numerous bookstores in the USA refused to display the book or carry it at all. The Riverdale Press offices in New York were destroyed by bombing after they published an editorial criticizing bookstores that did not carry the book and arguing for the right to read it. Worldwide, a total of 240 people were injured and 56 people were killed in pro-censorship protests that turned into rioting.

edited to correct a touchstone

2aspirit
aug 14, 2022, 6:29 pm

I knew about none of this before this past week's news. How about you?

And who here has read Rushdie's writing?

My guess is a surge of people will be reading his books in the next month or two. Although I'm not at this time up to taking on The Satanic Verses or his Quichotte, I am now looking for a copy of Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

3cpg
aug 15, 2022, 10:32 am

>2 aspirit: "I knew about none of this before this past week's news. How about you?"

The Satanic Verses controversy was very big news in the late 1980s. You were perhaps very young then?

4aspirit
aug 15, 2022, 11:16 am

>3 cpg: Yes, I was too young. That was a few years before I was sneaking into my parent's bedroom to watch news, and the controversy would not have been mentioned in the magazines I read.

5varielle
aug 15, 2022, 1:48 pm

It’s been at least 15 years or more ago when Rushdie spoke at Davidson College. I was working at Charlotte airport at the time. The passengers on his flight were delayed in boarding because his security detail got him on first. Nobody knew yet who the VIP was. One of the first class passengers put up a fuss. An airport police officer told him “Sir, if you make too much of a fuss on this particular flight they will put you off.” He stayed quiet after that.

6LucindaLibri
aug 16, 2022, 9:18 pm

I read The Satanic Verses in 2012 (the book came out in 1989, the threats came soon after).
I marked/flagged many pages (not as offensive but as having something interesting on them :).
I remember finding many parts of it rather amusing.

If recent events have left you intrigued/curious/wondering . . . Read the book and judge for yourself.

7John5918
Redigeret: aug 18, 2022, 9:49 am

>3 cpg:

Yes, I was also surprised that people might not have heard of Rushdie. Just goes to show how old we are. As you say, it created massive and long-running international headlines at the time. I read Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children and Shame all those years ago, but I can't say I remember too much about them now, another sign of age, but I do recall that they were heavy going. Rushdie is a very courageous man.

8aspirit
aug 18, 2022, 2:37 pm

While I wait for an interlibrary loan of Haroun and the Sea of Stories, I'm going into The Golden House. The copy I grabbed feels as if it's never before been open past the title page; someone should read it.

9John5918
Redigeret: aug 19, 2022, 12:05 am

Salman Rushdie attack was unjustifiable, says Pakistan’s Imran Khan (Guardian)

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie, describing it as “terrible” and “sad”, and saying that while the anger of the Islamic world at Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses was understandable, it could not justify the assault... Ten years ago, Khan pulled out of an event in India because Rushdie would also be appearing and the two men exchanged insults, but Khan does not appear to have expressed support for violent action against the Indian-born author. His denunciation of the attack is striking, however, in a region where most politicians have ducked comment... “Rushdie understood, because he came from a Muslim family. He knows the love, respect, reverence of a prophet that lives in our hearts. He knew that,” Khan said. “So the anger I understood, but you can’t justify what happened”...


Sir Salman Rushdie attack suspect 'only read two pages' of Satanic Verses (BBC)

The man accused of stabbing Sir Salman Rushdie has reportedly said he has only read two pages of the author's controversial novel The Satanic Verses... In an interview with the New York Post from jail, Mr Matar said Sir Salman was "someone who attacked Islam". But he did not confirm that his alleged actions were driven by a fatwa issued by Iran in the 1980s... Sir Salman published his famous and controversial novel The Satanic Verses in 1988, sparking outrage among some Muslims, who considered its content to be blasphemous. The book's release prompted the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa, or edict, calling for the writer's death in 1989. Mr Matar told the New York Post he had only read "a couple of pages" of the book and did not say whether the fatwa had inspired him. "I respect the Ayatollah. I think he's a great person. That's as far as I will say about that," he said...

Despite his "life-changing" injuries, the Booker Prize-winning author has retained his "usual feisty and defiant sense of humour", his family said earlier this week...

10aspirit
okt 23, 2022, 8:43 pm

https://twitter.com/PENamerica/status/1584323145640837122
PEN America @penamerica
1 hr ago

Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand after the attack he suffered while preparing to deliver a lecture in New York state two months ago, his agent Andrew Wylie has confirmed. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/23/salman-rushdie-has-lost-sight-in-o...

11Cecrow
apr 21, 2023, 12:38 pm

Among Rushdie's works is Joseph Anton, a 2012 memoir of his experience and perspective under the fatwa, which I plan to start reading within a month or two.

12aspirit
maj 16, 2023, 10:02 pm

https://apnews.com/article/salman-rushdie-public-appearance-freedom-of-speech-02... (Jill Lawless, Associated Press)

Rushdie delivered a video message to the British Book Awards, where he was awarded the Freedom to Publish award on Monday evening.{...}

Rushdie, 75, looked thinner than before the attack and wore glasses with one tinted lens. He was blinded in his right eye and suffered nerve damage to his hand when he was attacked at a literary festival in New York state in August.{...}

He told the awards ceremony that “we live in a moment, I think, at which freedom of expression, freedom to publish has not in my lifetime been under such threat in the countries of the West.”

“Now I am sitting here in the U.S., I have to look at the extraordinary attack on libraries, and books for children in schools,” he said. “The attack on the idea of libraries themselves. It is quite remarkably alarming, and we need to be very aware of it, and to fight against it very hard.”


13Cecrow
maj 17, 2023, 7:02 am

Glad to see him making a public statement again. I'd heard he wasn't backing down, now there's the proof.

14JHemlock
aug 24, 2023, 11:08 am

I love The Satanic Verses An incredible story.

15Cecrow
aug 24, 2023, 12:47 pm

Looking forward to it. Currently reading Quichotte and strongly recommend, especially if you're a Cervantes fan.