Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ tops bestsellers lists in U.S after author stabbed

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Author Salman Rushdie holds up a copy of his controversial book, "The Satanic Verses" during a 1992 news conference in Arlington, Va. Iran's foreign minister said Thursday SEPT. 24, 1998 that his government would distance itself from a $2.5 million reward for killing British novelist Salman Rushdie, and was ready to exchange ambassadors with Britain. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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Salman Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses” was propelled to the top of multiple Amazon bestseller lists, just days after the world-renowned author was stabbed in western New York.

Rushdie has faced death threats for more than three decades over his 1988 novel, whose depiction of the Prophet Muhammad was viewed as blasphemous by some conservative Muslims.

Since Friday’s attack at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY, Rushdie’s most famous tome topped Amazon’s Contemporary Literature & Fiction list, was the second bestseller in both the Politics & Social Science and the Self-Help & Psychology Humor categories, and came in at No 3 on the Fiction Satire list.

As of Tuesday morning, “The Satanic Verses” was the 26th best-selling book on Amazon’s US website overall.

And the audiobook version of “The Satanic Verses” was the seventh best-seller in Amazon’s Audible store.

Prior to Rushdie’s stabbing, his books did not even make the top 100 list on the online platform, reported CNBC, citing the famed novelist’s archived Amazon page that was obtained by Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Some of Rushdie’s other notable works also have been selling well, including the 2012 book “Joseph Anton: A Memoir,” which topped Amazon’s Religious Intolerance list.

His 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children,” which predated “The Satanic Verses,” was the second bestseller in the Asian Myth & Legend category.

In 1989, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie over “The Satanic Verses.”
Rushdie had a $3 million bounty on his head and spent a decade living in hiding.

While Iran has not focused on Rushdie in recent years, the fatwa still stands — even though reformist President Mohammad Khatami’s foreign minister in 1998 said that the “government disassociates itself from any reward which has been offered in this regard and does not support it.”

Rushdie was hospitalized in critical condition on Friday after being stabbed 10 times, including in the face, neck and chest, while preparing to deliver a lecture. A prosecutor said in court the author could lose his right eye.