The National Council on the Arts Monday officially denounced the banning of “The Satanic Verses” by various countries and the death threat imposed by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on the novel’s author, Salman Rushdie. The council also urged Americans to speak out against “any attempt to impose silence by terror upon a writer.” The council is made up of 27 private citizens appointed by the President to provide advice to the National Endowment of the Arts on arts policies and programs. The statement was endorsed by 25 of the 27 members. It read, in part: “The National Council on the Arts resolves that all efforts to suppress, ban or otherwise prevent the distribution of “The Satanic Verses” and all threats made against its author, and against publishers and booksellers associated with the work, should be condemned.”
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