The Booker Prize winner is no stranger to intimidation and violence.
After the release of The Satanic Verses in September 1988, he faced several years of death threats and was forced to go into hiding for nine years.
India banned the import of the novel a month after its publication. More than two dozen other countries have also banned the book, some of which have imposed harsh punishment for possession of the novel.
Violent riots against the author took place in many Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan. In India too, crowds were seen rallying against the book, and in February 1989, 12 people were killed in Mumbai during a major anti-Rushdie riot.
One year after the publication of the book, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa and called for the execution of Rushdie for the book’s blasphemous content against the prophet.
Since the 1980s, Rushdie’s writings have drawn death threats from Iran, which has offered a $3 million reward to anyone who killed him. In 1989, Iran broke diplomatic relations with Britain over this book.
Rushdie’s Japanese translator for the book, hitoshi igarashiHe was stabbed to death on July 13, 1991. Ten days before Igarashi was murdered, Rushdie’s Italian translator Ettore Capriolo was stabbed multiple times by an assailant at his home in Milan and was seriously injured.
The Norwegian publisher of The Satanic Verses, William Nygaard, was seriously injured after being shot three times by an assailant in Oslo on October 11, 1993.
Turkish translator of the book Aziz Nesin On July 2, 1993, a mob of arsonists set fire to the Madimak Hotel after Friday prayers in Sivas, Turkey, which killed 37 people, mostly Alevi scholars, poets and musicians.
(with inputs from agencies)