The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West

Daniel Pipes, Author
Daniel Pipes, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $18.95 (269p) ISBN 978-1-55972-025-0
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
One of several forthcoming books on the subject, this sober study by a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania describes and analyzes the international repercussions to the publication of The Satanic Verses. Pipes demonstrates convincingly that, although Salman Rushdie was preoccupied with the twin issues of religious sensitivities and censorship, he wanted to shake the world without accepting responsibility for what he wrought. Pipes also explains why the book is regarded as blasphemous and why many Muslims are convinced that it is part of a Western conspiracy against Islam. He questions the legality of Khomeni's death edict against Rushdie, and surveys Muslim reactions to the edict and Western responses to Muslim intimidation and state-sponsored terrorism. He shows that, ironically, the strongest opinions on all sides came from those who had not even seen, much less read, the novel. (May)
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