Book sales of Sir Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses soared after the author was stabbed at an event in the United States last week.
The controversial 1988 book, considered blasphemous by some Muslims, it rose to number eight on Amazon’s chart of best-selling fiction books of the week and was sold out by other booksellers.
The surge in sales appeared to be fueled to some extent by readers showing solidarity with Sir Salman, who has been the subject of decades-long death threats, including a fatwa, over the book.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the book’s out-of-print paperback was the No. 2 bestseller on Amazon’s Contemporary Fiction and Literature list and the audiobook version was No. 14 on Audible.
A verified reviewer wrote on Amazon last Friday: “Purchased in solidarity with Mr. Rushdie.
“No one should be physically attacked for the words they write.”
The paperback edition of the book was also temporarily out of stock on the websites of Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org, a marketplace focused on independent booksellers.
Arrives almost a week after British 75-year-old born in India was airlifted to hospital and underwent hours of surgery after being attacked on stage in Chautauqua, New York, last Friday.
Sir Salman was stabbed about 12 times in the face and neck, according to local officials, and a fan was taken from him but suffered “life-changing injuries”his son said.
Satanic Verses was banned in 1988 in several countries with large Muslim populations, including Iran.
Some of the scenes in the book show a character inspired by the prophet Muhammad, who was received with anger by some members of the Muslim community, who considered it blasphemous.
In 1989, then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill the perpetrator.
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The book was burned around the world and the work’s translators were attacked. Sir Salman has received decades of threats and has lived in hiding for many years.
Satanic verses are still banned in Iran and other countries.
The man who allegedly stabbed Sir Salman, Hadi Matar, 24, has denied the charges. attempted murder and assault.
Speaking from the Chautauqua County jail, Matar told the New York Post that he doesn’t like Sir Salman and said he “attacked Islam,” adding that he only read a “couple pages” of The Satanic Verses.
He did not say whether he was inspired by the late Ayatollah, citing a warning from his lawyer.