Ahmed Salman Rushdie, born in India in 1947 to a Muslim family, became globally known, and was notorious among radical Muslims, for his book The Satanic Verses. Islamists demonstrated en masse when it was published in 1988. A year later, the Shia ruler in Iran at the time, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against Rushdie, banning the author from Iran and calling for his murder. Khomeini died several months later.

Rushdie, who was studying and living in England, went into hiding for ten years and received permanent protection from the British police. At least one attempt was made to kill him with a failed bomb attack.

Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated the book into Japanese, was stabbed to death in 1991 at his Tsukuba University office. Less than two weeks earlier, Ettore Capriolo was injured in a stabbing at his home in Milan. Capriolo translated Rushdie's novel into Italian. In 1993, William Nygaard, who published the book in Norway, was shot three times in Oslo. He survived the attack.

Arsonists tried to kill Turkish translator Aziz Nesin in 1993 in Sivas, Turkey. The offenders set fire to the Madimak Hotel, killing 37 people.

Sivas massacre - Wikipedia
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