Salman Rushdie: Satanic Verses 'would not be published now'
The Satanic Verses author Sir Salman Rushdie said it would be "difficult" to publish the book now because of the "climate of fear" that exists.
The writer, whose latest book Joseph Anton: A Memoir recounts his life in hiding after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death, said many of the opponents of free expression used a "medieval vocabulary".
Rushdie spent years living under the threat of death following the publication of the novel, which was inspired in part by the life of Mohammed, and sparked demonstrations and protests from Muslims.
He told the BBC "a book which was critical of Islam would be difficult to be published now", and pointed to Channel 4's recent decision to cancel a private screening of a documentary on Islamic history because of security concerns.
But he said some of the people who originally protested against his book when it was published in 1988 had since admitted they were wrong.
Rushdie said: "Some of them seemed to accept the free speech argument and understood if they had the right to say what they felt, it was wrong to prevent people who felt differently from having their say.
"If that's right, then maybe we can emerge from a climate of fear."
His new memoir takes its title from the name he used while in hiding - which was a combination of the first names of two of his favourite writers, Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov.
Latest in News
From the blogs
What a wonderful way to end this momentous series in the 50th year of Doctor Who. From the start of ...
The UK Independence Party is on 19 per cent, the highest share recorded by any pollster, in a ComRes...
I know Dan Lepard nabbed it first for his wonderful book on baking but I’m eternally jealous, as it ...
Let's talk book blurbs, those quotes you get, usually from other writers, that are meant to entice y...
Revealed: Devastating impact of 'bedroom tax' sees huge leap in demand for emergency hardship handouts for tenants
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
Chloe Johnson death: Family of five-year-old British girl who died in a pool at in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort 'angry' that more wasn't done to save her
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Ukip captures Labour fortress in South Yorkshire by-election
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£350 - £500 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Project Manager - Public Sector ...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: HR Manager Independe...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Huxley Associates: INTERIM HR MANAGER - ...