Ian McEwan offered Rushdie shelter after ‘fatwa’

Booker prize winner Ian McEwan provided shelter to controversial Indian author Salman Rushdie.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: February 16, 2009 2:11:24 pm

London

Booker prize winner Ian McEwan provided shelter to controversial Indian author Salman Rushdie when the latter was threatened with a ‘fatwa’ issued by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini 20 years ago.

McEwan offered shelter to Rushdie in his cottage in the Cotswolds in western England after Khomeini issued the fatwa on 14 February 1989 for Rushdie’s book the ‘Satanic Verses’,which was deemed offensive to the Islamic faith,media reports here said.

The details of McEwam’s offer is a part of his long profile to be published in next week’s issue of the New Yorker,according to a report in The Guardian today.

Written by Daniel Zalewski,an editor of the magazine,the profile explores McEwan’s growing commitment to science and rationality as a factor,alongside the Rushdie affair,behind the controversy over Islamic fundamentalism in which he later became embroiled.

“I’ll never forget – the next morning we got up early,” McEwan tells the New Yorker.

“He had to move on…We stood at the kitchen counter making toast and coffee,listening to the eight o’clock BBC news. He was standing right by my side and he was the lead item on the news.

Hezbollah had put its sagacity and weight behind the project to kill him,” the magazine quoted McEwan as saying.

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