In September of 1998, a decade after the publication of Salman Rushdie’s SatanicVerses, the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami announced that, as far as his government was concerned, the ‘Rushdie Affair’ was over. Even though the President did not have the power actually to revoke Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Rushdie, he nevertheless declared that his government was no longer willing to support or promote the Ayatollah’s edict. This development was of little practical consequence: so-called ‘rogue Muslim elements’, acting individually and in opposition to Khatami’s government, still seemed determined to assassinate Rushdie and enjoyed the enthusiastic support of several senior members of the clergy in Iran. Furthermore, by the time Khatami made his announcement, the ‘Rushdie Affair’ had unwound itself to such a lugubrious torpor that it had virtually disappeared, without being actually resolved. As a result, commentators generally tended to forget that during the previous decade it had become increasingly senseless to demand a revocation of the fatwa. Every such demand, whether through an appeal to religious precedence or to international law, had proved futile in that time. Negotiations had been particularly difficult to sustain because the fatwa as well as the collective subject of its enunciation had proved to be operating within a self-contained and self-justifying discursive regime, one which tended to transform its postulates with a fluidity and a velocity that disoriented Rushdie’s allies at every turn.The unlearned lesson of the Rushdie Affair, then, was that the formalization of a new strategy for undoing such a quandary must, above all, question the political assumptions that were at work in Rushdie’s support and effectuate a radical break from the funereal humanism that animated those assumptions.