The Satanic Verses," has dismissed a recent threat to his life, saying the latest fatwa against him from Iran is nothing more than talk. Rushdie, who in 2008 was named thirteenth by The Times on its list of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945, continues promoting his latest book, "Joseph Anton: A Memoir," which tells the story of his life under a fatwa., the author of the controversial book "
"This was essentially one priest in Iran looking for a headline," the author said Tuesday night, according to the Seattle Times. He was speaking at a gathering of around 400 people at Barnes & Noble in Union Square. It should be noted that an Iranian religious foundation, led by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii, recently increased the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.
In 1989, Iran's Ayatollahdeclared "The Satanic Verses" offensive to Islam and passed fatwa for his death. The latest death threat to Rushdie’s life follows anti-U.S. unrest in the Muslim world over a film that insulted Islam's prophet.
"The Satanic Verses" hit the shelves in September 1988 and triggered storm in the Muslim world because the author presented a controversial depiction of the prophet. Rushdie wrote in his book thatadded verses to the Quran, accepting three goddesses who were being venerated in Mecca as godly beings.
Rushdie further states that Muhammad afterward invalidated the verses, saying the devil lured him into pronouncing these verses to soothe the Meccans. The writer then tells his readers these doubtful verses were in fact uttered by the archangel Gibreel. The book caused outrage in the Muslim world and was banned in 12 countries with large Muslim population.
Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini condemned Rushdie to death in 1989, and Alan Yentob of the BBC rescued him from throngs of photographers and likely from an assassin.
Reports suggest that Rushdie has called the recent anti-Muslim film "the worst video on YouTube.” Besides, he has said that Saneii has long offered a bounty and few people have taken him seriously. He declared the threat as a news product of the "outrage industry" and said people around the world are not interested in the bounty.