February 14, 1989: Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran calls on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.
Many Muslims believe that The Satanic Verses, a novel about a young Indian's life in Britain and the roots of his Muslim faith, irreverently fictionalizes the early Islamic community and Muslim life. Khomeini issues a fatwa, or religious opinion, on the matter. A $2.5 million price is also put on Rushdie's head. Rushdie spends nine years in hiding until Iran's government announces it no longer supports attempts to kill him.