Salman Rushdie: Satanic Verses 'would not be published now'
Monday 17 September 2012
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.
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...