'The Satanic Verses' Tops Nordic Bestseller Lists After Attempted Murder of Sir Salman Rushdie
06:03 GMT 15.08.2022 (Updated: 10:14 GMT 15.08.2022)
The book 'The Satanic Verses', published in 1988, is considered blasphemous among certain Muslims and even prompted Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was at that time supreme leader of Iran, issuing a fatwah on 14 February 1989 calling for the execution of its author, Sir Salman Rushdie.
Since the attack on Sir Salman Rushdie last Friday, interest in his controversial book 'The Satanic Verses' has rocketed in Scandinavia.
In Denmark, it rose to Number One bestseller spot at the Nordic country's largest online book relailer Saxo.com, TV2 reported.
In neighboring Norway, 'The Satanic Verses' made its way to the very top of the bestseller list at the country's largest online retailer Norlis. Publisher Aschehoug even confirmed that they are reprinting the book because of popular interest.
Rushdie, who is 75 and was born in India, has been living in the US since 2000. He was attacked on Friday when he was about to speak at a literary event in the state of New York. He was initially reported to be in critical condition but has now been taken off his ventilator and has been said to be making jokes.
Shortly after its publication in 1988, 'The Satanic Verses' - which features what some see as an irreverent depiction of Prophet Muhammad - sparked massive controversy, setting off demonstrations around the world and leaving Muslim nations seething with anger. The affair had a notable impact on geopolitics, when in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa (formal ruling) ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie. The Iranian government has changed its support for the fatwa several times, including in 1998 when it said it no longer supported it but it has never officially been lifted.
Rushdie is no stranger to threats and has survived assassination attempts before. He has been living at secret addresses in both the UK and the US for decades and is under police protection.
12 August, 15:45 GMT
Several translators and publishers associated with Rushdie have also been attacked. In 1991, a Japanese translator was stabbed.
In Denmark, the controversial book was translated and published by Gyldendal, whose director Simon Pasternak condemned the attack on Rushdie and stressed that the publishing house remains in constant dialogue with the Danish Police Intelligence Service about the threat level.
Rushdie's prolific work has brought him a number of accolades in the West, including being elected a fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature, appointed a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France and, in 2007, a knighthood for his services to literature in the UK. He was also cast in a starring cameo role in Bridget Jones's Diary in 2001.