This month, Palgrave Macmillan will release The Rushdie Fatwa and After: A Lesson to the Circumspect, by Brian Winston (University of Lincoln). The publisher’s description follows:
The freedom to create was rocked by the Imam Khomeini’s death sentence on Salman Rushdie 25 years ago. Ever since Khomeini’s fatwa called for Rushdie’s murder because of what he wrote in his novel The Satanic Verses, the zealous of many faiths have been moved on more than one occasion to protest – often with extreme violence – artistic expression in all its forms. The Rushdie Fatwa and After untangles that original event and the other major attacks on creative freedom it presaged. It argues that our ability to resist this assault has been seriously undermined by Western tolerance. The ripples of the stone the Imam cast that day in 1989 are travelling yet, disturbing the waters of the Western Enlightenment, circles within circles, like the stories of The 1001 Nights. Now Winston presents this sorry history as what that book might well call ‘a lesson to the circumspect’.