The first ever stage play based on Salman Rushdie s book The Satanic Verses passed off without incident in Germany on Sunday with police in attendance in case of disturbances.
It all went well, police spokesman Rudi Sonntag said.
There had been no specific threats but there was a moderate police presence inside and outside the venue as a preventative measure after complaints from some Muslim groups, the police spokesman said.
Iran s late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa – or religious decree – in 1989 calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie for what the leader said were insults to Islam in his book. Officially the fatwa still stands.
There had been fears that Sunday s play might become another flashpoint in tensions between Europe and the Muslim world.
There have been protests in a number of Islamic countries after Danish newspapers last month reprinted a drawing of Prophet Mohamed that offended many Muslims. Police had uncovered a plot to murder the cartoon s author.
Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders provoked further anger this week by posting on the internet his film Fitna attacking Islamic ideology.
Such fears appeared unfounded over Sunday s play however. Some members of the 400-strong audience at the theatre in Postdam near Berlin even confided to reporters that at three and a half hours long, the play had been boring.
Rushdie, an Indian-born Muslim educated in Britain, was forced into hiding for nearly a decade. He was knighted by Britain s Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, a move that sparked a new wave of protest across the Muslim world. The play was reworked for the stage by the manager of the Hans Otto Theater, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, and dramatist Marcus Mislin – with Rushdie s consent.