The Satanic Verses

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The Satanic Verses is a novel by Salman Rushdie.

Part of it was inspired by the life of Muhammad. The title refers to Satanic verses. This is one of the interpretations of the Koran. This interpretation is what Ibn Ishaq did in the oldest surviving text of the work. Some Islamic and most non-Muslim Western historians and commentators on the Qur'an have accepted this story of Muhammad's momentary acceptance of the verses although there are no known sources confirming the presence of these verses in reality in Qur'an in olden times. A common Muslim viewpoint is that the existence of the verses is just a fabrication created by non-Muslims.[1]

The novel caused much controversy when it was published. Many Muslims felt that it contained blasphemous references. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, a Shi'a Muslim scholar, issued a fatwa that called for the death of Rushdie and claimed that it was the duty of every Muslim to obey.[2] As a result, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese language translator of the book was stabbed to death on July 11, 1991; Ettore Capriolo, the Italian language translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing the same month. William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, survived an attempted assassination in Oslo in October of 1993. On February 14, 2006, the Iranian state news agency reported that the fatwa will remain in place permanently.[3]

In the United Kingdom, however, the book was praised by a lot of critics. It was a 1988 Booker Prize Finalist, eventually losing to Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda.

References[change | change source]

  1. The "Satanic Verses"
  2. "Ayatollah sentences author to death" (in English). BBC. 1989-02-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/14/newsid_2541000/2541149.stm. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
  3. "Iran says Rushdie fatwa still stands" (in English). Iran Focus. 2006-02-14. http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5768. Retrieved 2007-01-22.