Pandaemonium

HULLABALOO OVER THE SATANIC VERSES

Satanic Verses burning

As a coda to my essay on the changing landscape of free speech in the 25 years since the fatwa on Salman Rushdie, here is ‘Hullabaloo over Satanic Verses’, a Channel 4 documentary first broadcast in 1989 on the night of the fatwa. It was made by the writer and documentary film maker Gita Sahgal, one of the great stalwarths of the struggle against racism and for free speech and women’s rights. She was a  founder of the Southall Black Sisters and of Women Against Fundamentalism. She now runs the Centre for Secular Space. Her film is as important now as it was 25 years ago.

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For the full story of the Rushdie affair and its legacy, see my book From Fatwa to Jihad.

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The photo of the Bradford burning of The Satanic Verses is by Garry Clarkson.

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