In February 1989 Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa for the death of Salman Rushdie the author of The Satanic Verses. Published in 1988 the book caused a wave of worldwide controversy as some Muslims accused the book of blasphemy.

Bradford was one of the UK cities that led the protests against the novel and the city and the book became inextricably linked. The events led to a crystallisation of the concept of a British Muslim community, and catalysed the creation of institutions such as the Islamic Society of Britain.

To discuss and reflect on this defining moment in British Muslim history, join former BBC Head of Religion & Ethics Aaqil Ahmed, journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai Brown, journalist and filmmaker Mobeen Azhar and spokesperson and blogger Inayat Bunglawala.

About The Host

Aaqil Ahmed

Aaqil is the former Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC and Channel 4, delivering many award-winning programmes, including The Life of Muhammad. He is also Professor of Media at Bolton University, Non-Executive Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a consultant in Television production, communications and diversity.


About The Speakers

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a journalist, broadcaster and author. This year she was named columnist of the year at the National Press Awards. She has written over a dozen books, including The Settler’s Cookbook and Exotic England. She is Professor of Journalism at Middlesex University.

Mobeen Azhar

Mobeen Azhar is BAFTA, Grierson and Royal Television Society award winning Journalist and Film Maker.  He makes documentations across television and radio.  His specialist areas include faith, sex work, drugs, terrorism and Prince.  Most recently. Mobeen fronted ‘The Satanic Verses:  30 Years on’ for BBC Two and ‘Hometown’ for BBC One.