French firm suspends publication of 'Satanic Verses'

PARIS -- The French publishing house Christian Bourgois, which had purchased the French rights to publish Salman Rushdie's novel 'The Satanic Verses,' bowed to pressure from Iran Wednesday and said it was suspending publication of the book.

'Christian Bourgois had been studying the French language edition of the book of Salman Rushdie, 'Satanic Verses,'' the company said in a statement.


'No date had been set for publication of this work. Taking account of the seriousness of the current situation, which threatens the security of company personnel, its clients and its readers, it has been decided to suspend this publication.'

The statement was made a day after Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini urged Moslems to kill Rushdie and publishers of the work, which has spawned rioting in India and Pakistan along with a new wave of anti-Western fervor in Iran.

Police have mounted a guard at the Paris home of the editor who had been handling preparations for the French edition of the book and at his office, police sources said.

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