In this book, Daniel Pipes, director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, explains why the publication of the The Satanic Verses became a cataclysmic event, with far-reaching consequences. Pipes details what the fundamentalists perceived, and what the novel actually said, that proved so offensive to some Muslims. In fact, for many, the novel's title was enough to enrage them without even reading the text. Pipes explains how Rushdie's book created a new crisis between Iran and the West-disrupting international diplomacy, billions of dollars in trade, and the prospects of Western hostages in Lebanon. He also spells out the chilling, long-term implications of the crisis. If the Ayatollah so easily intimidated the West, can others now do the same? Can millions of fundamentalist Muslims now living in the United States and Europe possibly be assimilated in a culture so alien to them.