The deep anger that’s been felt across the Muslim world over the controversial anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ echoes similar demonstrations more than two decades ago for the British author Salman Rushdie.
Protests have spread throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia in condemnation of the movie, which mocks the Prophet Mohammed.
Rushdie’s 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” caused similar outrage. It led to a fatwa or religious edict by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini calling for Rushdie’s killing.
Twenty-four years after its publication, the author has released a new book ‘Joseph Anton: A Memoir’ telling the story of his nine years in hiding following the death sentence.
Rushdie said what happened to him was a prologue to events unfolding this week: “Freedom of speech, freedom of expression is the freedom without which all the other freedoms disappear. It’s the foundation, the bedrock of an open society. And to compromise it is to compromise something very crucial to the kind of societies in which we’re all privileged to live in.”
“Literature, painting, intellectual papers written in universities. All come under attack from different religious interest groups, and the state caves every single time, the state caves in,” said Rushdie.