Crime & Justice

Iran authorities silent after Rushdie attack

New York/Tehran, Aug 13 (EFE).- Iran’s political and religious authorities have yet to react to Friday’s attack on acclaimed author Salman Rushdie.

The Indian-born British-American writer was at a literary event in upstate New York when he was allegedly stabbed by Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from New Jersey.

The author has been the subject of death threats for years due to a 1989 fatwa – an Islamic legal decree – issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s then-supreme leader, that called for Rushdie’s assassination in response to his book The Satanic Verses, which many Muslims regard as blasphemous and insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.

Neither the Iranian government nor the Islamic Republic’s religious leaders have made any statements about the attack, although some minority conservative media have celebrated it.

Conservative newspaper Keyhan, which is close to supreme leader Ali Khamenei, praised the attack and offered “100 blessings from God” to the alleged attacker, while Khorasan ran the headline “Satan is on his way to hell” its front page, in reference to Rushdie.

Mohammad Marandi, a senior advisor to the Iranian team in Vienna in negotiations to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, questioned the motives for the attack.

“It isn’t odd that as we near a potential nuclear deal, the US makes claims about a hit on (John) Bolton (former US president Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor) … and this happens,” he wrote on Twitter.

The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, meanwhile, called the attack “reprehensible”.

“This act of violence is appalling. All of us in the Biden-Harris Administration are praying for his speedy recovery,” he said in a statement.

The 75-year-old author was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen and was airlifted to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania from the Chautauqua Institution, a cultural center located in the southwestern part of New York state.

Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said Friday evening that he was on a ventilator and unable to speak.

“The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” he said.

Ever since the fatwa calling for his assassination, the author had lived under the protection of police or bodyguards.

“The Satanic Verses,” a novel inspired by the life of the Prophet Mohammed that like other works of Rushdie’s contains elements of magical realism, was banned in Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and other countries. EFE


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