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The Satanic Verses (novel)/Timelines

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Timelines [?]
A timeline (or several) relating to The Satanic Verses (novel).


  • September 26, 1988 - book is published in the U.K.
  • October 5, 1988 - importation of the book into India is banned
  • November 21, 1988 - the grand sheik of Egypt's Al-Azhar calls on Islamic organizations in Britain to take legal action to prevent the novel's distribution
  • November 24, 1988 banned in South Africa and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Qatar followed within weeks
  • December 1988 and January 1989 British Muslims hold book burnings in Bolton and Bradford. The Islamic Defence Council demands that Penguin Books apologize, withdraw the book, pulp any extant copies, and never reprint it.
  • February 12, 1989: six people are killed and 100 injured during protests in Islamabad, Pakistan
  • February 13, 1989 one person is killed and 60 injured in riots in Srinigar, India
  • February 14, 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling on all Muslims to execute all those involved in the publication of the book. The 15 Khordad Foundation, an Iranian religious foundation or bonyad, offers a monetary reward for the murder of Rushdie.
  • February 16, 1989 Rushdie enters the protection program of the British government, and issues a statement regretting the offense his book had caused. Khomeini responds by reiterating that "it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has, his life and his wealth, to send [Rushdie] to hell."
  • February 22, 1989 The book is published in the United States. Two major bookstore chains, under threat, remove the book from a third of the nation's bookstores.
  • On February 24 1989, an Iranian businessman offered a U.S.$ 3 million bounty for the death of Rushdie.
  • February 24, 1989 12 die in rioting at Bombay
  • February 28, 1989 Two bookstores in Berkeley, California are firebombed.
  • March 7, 1989 Britain breaks diplomatic relations with Iran
  • March, 1989 The Organization of the Islamic Conference calls on its 46 member governments to prohibit the book. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar sets the punishment for possession of the book as three years in prison and a fine of $2,500. In Malaysia, the penalty is three years in prison and a fine of $7,400. In Indonesia, a month in prison or a fine. The only nation with a predominantly Muslim population where the book remains legal is Turkey. Several nations with large Muslim minorities, including Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia, and Sierra Leone also impose penalties for possessing the book.
  • In May 1989 Popular musician Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) gave indirect support for the fatwa, and stated according to the New York Times during a British television documentary that if Rushdie showed up at his door, he "might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like... I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is." [1] For more see also Cat Stevens: Rushdie Controversy
  • After the death of Khomeini in 1989, Rushdie published an essay in 1990, In Good Faith, to appease his critics and issued an apology in which he seems to have reaffirmed his respect for Islam. However, Iranian clerics did not retract the fatwa..
  • 1990: five bombings target bookstores in England
  • July 1991 Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator is stabbed to death; the Italian translator, Ettore Capriolo, is seriously wounded.
  • 2 July 1993 Thirty-seven people died when their hotel in Sivas, Turkey was burnt down by locals protesting against Aziz Nesin, Rushdie's Turkish translator
  • October 1993, the Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard, is shot and seriously injured.
  • 1993 The 15 Khordad Foundation in Iran raised the reward for Rushdie's murder to $300,000.
  • In 1997, the bounty was doubled, and the next year the highest Iranian state prosecutor restated his support.
  • In 1998 the Iranian government publicly declared that it would not carry out the death sentence against Rushdie. This was announced as part of a wider agreement to normalise relations between Iran and the United Kingdom. Rushdie subsequently declared that he would stop living in hiding, and that he regretted attempts to appease his critics by making statements to the effect that he was a practicing Muslim. Rushdie affirmed that he is not, in fact, religious. Despite the death of Khomeini and the Iranian government's official declaration, according to certain members of the Islamic fundamentalist media the fatwa remains in force:
"The responsibility for carrying out the fatwa is not the exclusive responsibility of Iran. It is the religious duty of all Muslims – those who have the ability or the means – to carry it out. It does not require any reward. In fact, those who carry out this edict in hopes of a monetary reward are acting against Islamic injunctions."
  • In 1999, an Iranian foundation placed a $2.8 million bounty on Rushdie's life, and in February 2003, Iran's Revolutionary Guards reiterated the call for the assassination of Rushdie. As reported by the Sunday Herald, "Ayatollah Hassan Saneii, head of the semi-official Khordad Foundation that has placed a $2.8 million bounty on Rushdie's head, was quoted by the Jomhuri Islami newspaper as saying that his foundation would now pay $3 million to anyone who kills Rushdie." [2]
  • In early 2005, Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie was reaffirmed by Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message to Muslim pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Iran has rejected requests to withdraw the fatwa on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it
  • February 14 2006, Iran’s official state news agency reported on the anniversary of the decree that the government-run Martyrs Foundation had announced, "The fatwa by Imam Khomeini in regards to the apostate Salman Rushdie will be in effect forever", and that one of Iran’s state bonyad, or foundations, had offered a $2.8 million bounty on his life. [3]