Salman Rushdie’s remarkable 1988 novel is perhaps remembered now more for the violent and radioactive uproar that occurred in its wake than for its literary merit. That would be a terrible shame. The Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for Rushdie’s assassination gave The Satanic Verses the dubious distinction of being the opening salvo in an ongoing battle pitting religious fundamentalism against freedom of expression in Denmark, France, and anywhere art is answered with murder.
In the wake of last week’s horror in Paris, we urge a return to the book itself — a trenchant satire and an earnest reflection of a world in transformation, and its myriad unmoored peoples.
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Copyright 2015 The National Memo