LONDON: Award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie has confessed that he pretended to ‘embrace Islam’ hoping that it would reduce the threat of Muslims acting on the fatwa to kill him.
In the 1990, the controversial author issued a statement in order to defuse the row about his novel The Satanic Verses, which had provoked Muslims across the world.
He claimed that he had renewed his Muslim faith, had repudiated the attacks on Islam in his novel and was committed to working for better understanding of the religion across the world. However, in a recent interview the 60-year-old claimed that his reversion to the religion of his birth was all a ‘pretence’.
“It was deranged thinking. I was more off-balance than I ever had been, but you can’t imagine the pressure I was under. I simply thought I was making a statement of fellowship,” Times Online quoted him, as saying . “As soon as I said it I felt as if I had ripped my own tongue out. I realised that my only survival mechanism was my own integrity. People, my friends, were angry with me, and that was the reaction I cared about,” he added. Rushdie also said that the criticism of the book caused him more upset than the fatwa.
“I had spent five years writing this book. It was my best effort. To have it hated and dismissed was terrible. I thought that if this is what you get, then why write? I might as
well become a bus conductor,” he said.