Writer Salman Rushdie has a unique perspective on the recent violence in the Muslim world
. In 1989, before social media could spread messages like wildfire, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini condemned the British author to death over his novel, The Satanic Verses,
and incited rioting in the streets. He has spent many years on the run with a bounty on his head, which was just raised again days ago by an Iranian religious foundation.
In an interview with NBC’s TODAY, Rushdie called the anti-Islamic film that sparked widespread unrest “disgraceful.”
“I think clearly the video was a flashpoint,” Rushdie told Matt Lauer. “From what I can see it was an outrageous, disgraceful little malevolent thing, but by now I think that the reaction we’re seeing is really the release of a much larger outrage. We sort of live in an age of outrage, and people seem to be defining themselves by their outrage and seem to feel that it justifies itself.”
While he sees some connection between the current protests in the Middle East over and his own experience running from a fatwa, or religious edict, he doesn’t feel sorry for the creator of the film.
“He did it on purpose,” Rushdie said. The filmmaker “set out to create a response, and he got in spades.”
Rushdie joins us a guest tonight on The Last Word at 10pm ET in an exclusive interview.