Salman Rushdie told the BBC
that his novel, The Satanic Verses
, would not be published today. Rushdie went into hiding after a fatwa was issued against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, in February 1989.
In the wake of riots in the Middle East over movies and cartoons, Rushdie told BBC's Will Gompertz that "A book which was critical of Islam would be difficult to be published now." Rushdie says published need to "be brave."
Rushdie also says writers are still being attacked for their works in many Muslim countries. He says, "If you look at the way in which free expression is being attacked by religious extremism, the things of which these people are accused is always the same - it's blasphemy, heresy, insult, offence - it's this medieval vocabulary."
Rushdie published a new memoir about his fatwa ordeal this week, called Joseph Anton: A Memoir
. Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports
that the fatwa order against Rushdie from the Iranian religious foundation headed by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii has been renewed with a bigger $3.3 million bounty. The Telegraph
says Rushdie dismissed the new fatwa threat, calling it a product of the "outrage industry."
Image: Random House