Anniversary of Rushdie book fatwa 
It is 20 years since Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against
the author Salman Rushdie after the publication of The Satanic Verses.  
The novel's release led
to widespread protest by Muslims who regarded it as blasphemous,
including public burning of the book. 
Rushdie had to live in hiding and under special protection for several years. 
And while he is now able to live a more public life, he says the affair remains 
"an albatross around his neck". 
Last year, he told BBC's Newsnight that he was considering writing a book about 
the experience. 
Nine days after The Satanic Verses was published in Britain in September 1988, 
it was banned in India. 
Attacks  
Muslims who wanted the book withdrawn in Britain burned a copy at a 
demonstration in Bradford's main square. 
Protests gathered pace in various countries, and on 14 February 1989, the 
Iranian revolutionary leader issued the fatwa. 
There were attacks on people involved in translating or publishing the book. 
Although Iran said this week that the fatwa remains valid, the official
line laid down in 1998 was that the death sentence should no longer be
pursued. 
BBC world affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge said that in Britain the book 
and its effects remain divisive. 
"Some British Muslims say today that the protest tactics damaged the
aims of Muslims; some say they helped prevent greater insults to
Islam," he said. 
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/entertainment/7889889.stm

Published: 2009/02/14 01:59:32 GMT

© BBC MMIX

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