Salman Rushdie has been threatened for one of his books for over 30 years

The first stabbing related to “The Satanic Verses” occurred in Milan in July 1991, when Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator of the work, was stabbed to death in his apartment by an unknown person who introduced himself to him as an Iranian citizen.

Capriolo received several blows to the head and gunshot wounds to the neck, arms and chest, but survived.

Less fortunate was Hitoshi Igarashi, translator of the book into Japanese, who was murdered in Tokyo on July 12 of the same year.

Fear for his life did not paralyze Rushdie, who toured half of Europe in 1992 to mobilize public opinion and persuade governments to put pressure on the Iranian government. However, he needed personal protection in all his movements.

In 1998, the Iranian government promised the UN not to seek Rushdie’s death as part of a wider agreement with Britain to normalize relations.

Calls for his assassination waned over the years, but in 2016, the official Iranian agency Fars published that forty public media outlets had raised $600,000 to renew the fatwa and offer that reward to whoever killed him.

In 2012, the writer was forced to cancel his participation in the Jaipur Literature Festival (India) because two hitmen allegedly tried to kill him during the celebration.

Neither the secrecy nor the death threats caused Rushdie to give up his profession, and since he was sentenced to death, he has written nearly a dozen books, ranging from “The ground under his feet” (1999), a story of love and music that set in Bombay; to his memoir, “Joseph Anton” (2012), to “The Decline of Nero Golden” (2017), which takes place in the US political and cultural landscape from the election of Barack Obama to the rise of Donald Trump.

Despite his literary successes, which began in 1981 when he published “Midnight’s Children,” Rushdie said he would “never” receive the Nobel Prize.

The Swedish Academy, which is responsible for selecting the Nobel Prize for Literature, took years until 2016 to overturn the death sentence against the author.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo in 2017, Rushdie, who never hid his high opinion of his work, said of the Swedish Academy: “They will never give me the Nobel Prize for fear of the Islamists.”

Source: El heraldo

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