You may think this novel was only dangerous to Rushdie, but in fact more than 50 people died as a result of its publication — or at least as a result of the extreme reaction of the Muslim community. First published in the United Kingdom in 1988, this novel, a magical realist work that includes a dream sequence about Muhammad, caused outrage among many Muslims who accused Rushdie of blasphemy. In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa against the writer, ordering Muslims to kill him, a ruling that stayed in effect until 1998. Rushdie was bombarded with hate mail and death threats, and was forced to enter the British government’s protection program. Meanwhile, despite Rushdie’s apologies and written reaffirmations of his faith, several people were killed and injured in anti-Rushdie riots, including the book’s Japanese translator, who was stabbed to death, and the Italian translator, who was gravely wounded but survived. In 1993, Turkish scholars attending the Pir Sultan Abdal Literary Festival refused to hand over Aziz Nesin, the book’s Turkish translator, to a group of Islamic extremists. In response, the group burned down the hotel, killing 37 people (though Nesin escaped). Only recently, Rushdie cancelled his plans to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival after reports of planned assassination attempts.