When the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie was announced on Valentine's Day of 1989, it instantly plunged Rushdie into at least four different battles. He was fighting for his life, of course, an unrelentingly anxious campaign to stay hidden from Muslim extremists which went on long after his cause made headlines. Second, he was fighting to propagate his own ideas about a secular Muslim culture, to which was now added the cause of free speech, amidst intense pressure to apologize for The Satanic Verses and back down. Third, he clashed with the British government, who never officially denounced the fatwa and only protected him grudgingly, believing that he was a troublemaker who was costing enormous amounts of money despite never having done the nation a service. Finally, he struggled mightily to maintain the creative space to continue writing fiction,...
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