I have to admit, I read this haram book and other Salman's books. I read his books out of curiosity while on business trips abroad (while in Malaysia). This guy is talented with satanic help, I guess. Of course there is no way to give him a pardon for insulting the Prophet SAW.
I remember that one of my conversations with Yusuf Islam was on the book and its author. I do not want to disclose what was discussed. Yusuf has his own controversy on the issue.
On his personal spiritual website Yusuf wrote:
I never called for the death of Salman Rushdie; nor backed the Fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini--and still don’t. The book itself destroyed the harmony between peoples and created an unnecessary international crisis.
When asked about my opinion regarding blasphemy, I could not tell a lie and confirmed that--like both the Torah and the Gospel--the Qur’an considers it, without repentance, as a capital offense. The Bible is full of similar harsh laws if you’re looking for them. However, the application of such Biblical and Qur’anic injunctions is not to be outside of due process of law, in a place or land where such law is accepted and applied by the society as a whole... 
How one book ignited a culture war
It's 20 years since Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced a death sentence on Salman Rushdie for 'insulting' Islam with his novel The Satanic Verses. The repercussions were profound - and are still being felt. Andrew Anthony traces the course of the affair, from book-burnings and firebombings to the dramatic impact it had on freedom of expression in a multicultural society