Salman Rushdie on Joseph Anton

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Salman Rushdie discusses how his life changed when he was “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, because of what he wrote in his novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team, who called him by his alias, Joseph Anton. Rushdie tells the story for the first time in his memoir, Joseph Anton, about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, struggling for support and understanding, and finally regaining his freedom.


Salman Rushdie

Comments [10]

dave from manhattan

I half-heard the overnight replay of the interview (I was half asleep). Although there was a death threat against Mr Rushdie because of the “Satanic Verses” book, there was no death threat against all British people or all Indian People, as compared to the situation now where one person living in America (who may or may not be an American citizen) posts an anti-Islam video and the Arab world condemns all Americans. I wonder if Mr Rushdie had a comment on this.

Sep. 19 2012 12:08 PM
jennifer from NYC

Although interesting, I can't help but note that Mr Rushdie certainly suffers no inferiority complex

Sep. 18 2012 01:57 PM
khadija from brooklyn

Thank you, Mr. Rushdie. Such poetry, lost on most. It is my ardent dream, that the Umma, worldwide, would take a breath and think. khadija- Rabat-Morocco. Salam, Shalom, Peace. ko

Sep. 18 2012 01:56 PM
Richard from New York

That's right - like the first Jewish family to "disappear". May you be truly blessed and the world this very day is aflame with the hatred and intolence that we hope to quell.

Sep. 18 2012 01:54 PM
francyne from pelham bay park

Mr. Rushdie,

When all your troubles started, I wrote to you care of your publishers inviting you to hide out at our place in Chicago. We were living in a very off-the-beaten-track neighborhood where we figured you wouldn't be recognized by the mostly Hispanic residents.
After hearing the interview, I realize with all the moving around you didn't have much time to reply to strangers. I will be buying your book this week.

Sep. 18 2012 01:48 PM
Mia from Manhattan

Art Malik did such a great reading of The Moor's Last Sigh, yet someone else is doing the audio narration of Joseph Anton.

How much say does Mr. Rushdie have in that selection for the audiobook?

Sep. 18 2012 01:40 PM
khadija from Brooklyn

Heart! Thank you, Mr. Rushdie. khadija

Sep. 18 2012 01:34 PM
john from office

I heard Mr. Rushdie's interview where he asks why the Islamic world is going backwards. This was very interesting, is there any hope given the state of that part of the world and the finality of "death". If you kill enough people your society will go backwards. Won't there be a brain drain when all the educated people leave for the west.??

Sep. 18 2012 12:50 PM

In her Newsweek article Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote:

"Rushdie felt particularly aggrieved that many of the attacks came from people whose worldview he shared. His leftist credentials were undisputed, given his positions on apartheid, the Palestinian question, racism in Britain, and Margaret Thatcher’s government. What’s more, Rushdie considered himself a friend, not an enemy, of Islam."

I assume that she knows Mr. Rushdie personally to write this.

Question - have Mr. Rushdie changed his positions on these issues? Namely - Islam and Israel-Arab (Jewish - Muslim) conflict.

Sep. 18 2012 12:33 PM
Opal S. from NYC

Heard Salman Rushdie this morning and I was wondering why he is calling attention to himself at this point, and possibly putting himself in danger again when the lunatic fringe is so active. The rationale for the title "Satanic Verses" is rational but will not be understood by the mad mobs.

Sep. 18 2012 12:17 PM

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