The Straits Times
Published on Sep 18, 2012

Rushdie releases memoirs as anti-Islam film protests rage


LONDON (AFP) - As violent protests over a United States-made film rock the Muslim world, Salman Rushdie publishes his account on Tuesday of the decade he spent in hiding while under a fatwa for his book The Satanic Verses.

With at least 19 people killed in a week of furious protests over the film, Rushdie's candid memoir of the years spent on the run after he too was accused of mocking Islam, entitled Joseph Anton, has an added resonance.

"A book which was critical of Islam would be difficult to be published now," the Indian-born writer, 65, told BBC television in an interview broadcast on Monday. "There's a lot of fear and nervousness around."

Considered blasphemous by many Muslims, The Satanic Verses - published in 1988 - earned him a fatwa from Iran's spiritual leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, urging Muslims to kill the writer.