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PoliticsWorldTerrorist who attacked Salman Rushdie fan of Ayatollah Khomeini

Terrorist who attacked Salman Rushdie fan of Ayatollah Khomeini

The terrorist who attacked author Salman Rushdie has been identified. "The 24-year-old Iranian-American (some reports say Lebanese) Hadi Matar's "Facebook account featured images of Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa against Rusdhie in 1989, and his successor Ayatollah Khamenei. You can now guess the motive of the attack," exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen wrote on Twitter.

Law enforcement authorities in New York on Friday identified author Salman Rushdie's assailant. 

Stacey Schlosser was just about to take her seat, "The theme of the week is home. So they were talking about taking in these refugees, artists and writers that were threatened and are refugees from their countries where they were not able to have free speech and do and say what they wanted to do, and so it was going to be a conversation about that whole issue."

Rushdie was flown to UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he underwent surgery. The writer is on a ventilator with a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose, Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie said.

Thanks to the Rajiv Gandhi government of the time, India got the dubious distinction of being the first country to ban The Satanic Verses, the book by Salman Rushdie towards which Rafiq Zakaria, father of journalist Fareed Zakaria, drew the attention of the then Government of India. By banning the book, the Congress government drew the attention of the whole world towards the piece of literature. The fatwa for his head and a reward of $ 3 million for the terrorist act was then announced by Khomeini.

Rushdie was born in India. As a novelist, he combined magical realism with historical fiction. Muslims found the uncharitable character in The Satanic Verses named a reference to their prophet and got incensed.

The Government of the United Kingdom protected him for decades. He spent about nine years in hiding, but then continued to appear publicly and advocate for free speech, "If you're a free expression organization, if you believe in the value of free speech, then you must believe in the value of free speech that you don't like. if you only defend free speech that conforms to your own moral framework that's what is normally called censorship," Rushdie once said at a PEN America event.

Khomeini's fatwa had never been formally revoked.

Curiously, when Rushdie thought he no longer faced the Islamist threat, he ranted against the " nationalist" regime in India in 2019, buying the pop media narrative of "intolerance" in this country.

The woke of New York did not divulge the details of the terrorist who attacked the author yesterday, stabbing him multiple times, However, investigative journalists found out that Matar had driven from his house in Fairview, New Jersey, to Chautauqua, in Upstate New York. Rushdie, 75, was a guest here at a local literary festival. He was being interviewed by Henry Reese, 73, when Matar, said to be of Lebanese origin, rushed to the stage to attack him.

People from the audience pinned him down and protected the other panellists. A doctor among them helped administer CPR to Rushdie before he was airlifted to a hospital.

After yesterday's attack, free speech group PEN America, which had organised the event where Rushdie was slated to speak, said in a statement: "PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at the word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former president and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie… Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered."

Given purported Iranian sympathies of the terrorist, the attack has geo-political implications, coming as it did just days after the Biden administration's Justice Department charged a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps with trying to orchestrate the assassination of former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Iran has not yet commented on the attack on Salman Rushdie.

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