William Nygaard  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

William Nygaard (born 16 March 1943) is the retired head of the Norwegian publishing company Aschehoug. He is chairman of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Assassination attempt

On 12 April 1989 Aschehoug and William Nygaard were responsible for publishing the Norwegian edition of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses. This was two months after Ayatollah Khomeini issued the following fatwa against Salman Rushdie and his publishers:

I inform all zealous Muslims of the world that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses — which has been compiled, printed and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Qur'an — and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, wherever they may be found, so that no one else will dare to insult the Muslim sanctities. God Willing, whoever is killed on this path is a martyr.

Owing to the fatwa, direct threats were made against William Nygaard and translator Kari Risvik, and in the resulting controversy, Nygaard was given police protection for a period.

On the morning of 11 October 1993, Nygaard was shot three times outside his home in Dagaliveien in Oslo. Although the crime has never been solved, most people — including Nygaard — link the incident to the fatwa. After several months of hospitalization, most of the time at Sunnaas Hospital, Nygaard slowly recovered.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "William Nygaard" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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