No writer in our times has been as controversial as Salman Rushdie, no novel has set the impervious Muslim orthodoxy so solidly against the liberal West as his sprawling, rollicking, sad, exasperating, insightful novel, The Satanic Verses (1988). Death threats were made and the supreme leader of Iran, the cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa asking for his head on February 14, 1989. Why and how Rushdie managed to alienate ultra-orthodox practitioners of Islam, a religion o