Twenty years ago, the image of burning copies of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses held aloft by thousand-strong mobs of protestors became an internationally familiar symbol of anger and offence. Kenan Malik examines how the Rushdie affair transformed the debate worldwide on multiculturalism, tolerance, and free speech, helped fuel the rise of radical Islam and pointed the way to the horrors of 9/11 and 7/7.
"A gripping account of how we went from burning books to bombs on buses. The Rushdie Affair has shaped all our lives. This book shows us how." (Hanif Kureishi)
"A thorough and highly readable history of the politics of the Rushdie affair and an important intervention in the current debate on freedom of expression." (Monica Ali)
"In tracing the root-causes for radical Islam, Indian-born academic and journalist Kenan Malik hopes to find some answers in the publication of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and the subsequent campaign against it. As well as providing an insightful analysis of the "Rushdie Affair", he also tackles difficult questions that concern the way we think about multiculturalism, religious tolerance and freedom of speech." (Good Book Guide)
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Be careful what you campaign for
- Stephanie Jane