Thirty years ago, on Feb. 14, 1989, the Iranian cleric and politician Ayatollah Khomeini formulated his famous fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie. He sentenced to death not only the writer of The Satanic Verses (1988) but also “those involved in the publication” of the book; so even publishers and translators. With one stroke of his pen, Khomeini became the originator of a new type of terrorism, theoterrorism. He threatened with violence the citizen of another state with his aim to undermine the central structures of democratic society, freedom of speech. And he did this, according to his own pretense, on divine command and with divine authority (theos = god, so hence theoterrorism).
Since that fateful moment in the history of liberal democratic societies, some sort of asymmetric warfare began between nation-states and networks of terrorist organizations or terrorist “lone wolves.” The world has not yet found any solution for that pernicious problem.