Salman Rushdie on the fatwa that put his life in danger

On Friday morning, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck as he stood on stage at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York where he was scheduled to give a talk. His attacker’s motives weren’t immediately clear, but Rushdie, one of the most famous contemporary writers, had lived under the threat of violence for decades. In 1989, a year after Rushdie published “The Satanic Verses,” a novel that imagines a fictionalized version of the Prophet Muhammad, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a decree, or fatwa, calling for Rushdie’s death. An assassination attempt on Rushdie failed later that year, and the writer spent periods in the years that followed in hiding or under increased security when making public appearances.

In 2012, the new yorker published “The Disappeared”, a personal story of Rushdie about the period after the fatwa, as well as the key moments before and after the release of “The Satanic Verses”. In the essay, Rushdie recounts the evening after the fatwa was published, writing in the third person about his return to his London home under police surveillance as news of the day begins to break. space haunted by footsteps, that he no longer understood his life, nor what it could become.


How the Fatwa Changed a Writer’s Life.

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