Vice Studios is developing a documentary for BBC Two on the outrage within Britain’s Muslim community following the publication of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses in 1988, Deadline reported.
Titled The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On (w/t), the documentary will follow journalist Mobeen Azhar to West Yorkshire to track down the men and women who protested against the publication of The Satanic Verses. Azhar is also the producer of the documentary.
Partly inspired by the life of Prophet Muhammad, The Satanic Verses, despite earning rave reviews and becoming a Booker Prize finalist, ran into controversy after being accused of blasphemy and mocking the Muslim faith. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa in February 1989 demanding Rushdie’s death. The author was placed under police protection by the United Kingdom government for many years, and he was subjected to numerous threats of assassination. Bookstores were attacked and the novel was banned in many countries, including India. Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi was murdered in 1991.
The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On (w/t) is Vice Studios’ second series made with an external collaborator. The company is also developing the three-part series Cocaine: A British Epidemic, about drug dealers in the United Kingdom, for Viacom’s Channel 5.