Many years ago, when i was little, i remember the brouhaha over Rushdie's book "the satanic verses"...but only slightly ...i was in Saudi Arabia at that time ,and i was only 8 years old.I also remember a couple of years later , asking my Dad what all the fuss was about .He said (being a moderate Muslim) that though he hasn't read the book ,it apparently insulted the prophet and hence very blasphemous.I was curious as hell as to what the story was about.Nobody in Saudi even remotely knew what the general idea in the book was about ,just that it was blasphemy and had to be banned.Even India banned the book to appease the Muslim minority there.After the prevalence of the internet i managed to download a pdf copy ,but never came around to reading it (seriously how can anyone read a book in pdf?) it wasn't until many years later when i was visiting Thailand that i happened upon a used copy of the book.After reading it (and enjoying the comical turn of events for the characters) i was aghast as to why it was banned in the first place?Maybe i expected something really insulting ,but came across a fictionalized story of an event that is believed by muslims to be fiction in the first place.
What were they afraid of?that enough people reading it would somehow realize its true?Like how they believed in Islam?Honestly ,most people behave like little children (and not in the good way )...
By the way , i smuggled that book into India were it sits on my bookshelf even now, truly one of the few illegal activities i have undertaken (the other being downloading the pdf ;) )
It's been a long time since I read it, and I don't think I finished it, but it seems that there were passages that would have people question the Iranian government, hence it was really a political reason under the veil that it was sacrilege.