Salman Rushdie said he believed his life had become “very normal again” and that the fear of being attacked was a thing of the past, just two weeks before he was stabbed on stage in New York on Friday.
The novelist, who was hospitalized yesterday, was stabbed several times, including in the neck and abdomen. His agent, Andrew Wiley, said his liver had been damaged and he would likely lose his eye.
His suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, was yesterday charged with attempted murder and assault.
Rushdie, 75, was assaulted at a literary festival at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state when he was speaking about the importance of America granting exiled writers asylum.
Having bought a ticket, Matar allegedly rushed to the stage and stabbed Rushdie before being tackled by spectators, facility staff, and two local law enforcement officers who provided security.
Rushdie is Fatwa Calls for his death since 1989, when the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini published it in response to the Indian-born author’s controversial novel devil’s poemSince then, the Iranian regime has tried to distance itself from the fatwa, but the price of Rushdie’s head has increased to more than $3 million in recent years.
Many Muslims viewed Rushdie’s book as blasphemous. This is because, among other things, it contains characters that are interpreted as an insult to the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of the faith.
devil’s poem It was published 10 years before Matar was born to parents who emigrated from Lebanon.
Just two weeks ago, Rushdie was speaking to a German news magazine. stern about his safety. The author said his life would have been in more danger had social media existed when he wrote it. devil’s poem: “more dangerous, infinitely more dangerous”.
“Fatwas are a serious thing. Fortunately, there was no internet in those days. Iranians faxed fatwas to mosques. When asked what scares him now, Rushdie said: I won’t say it anymore The greatest danger we face today is the loss of democracy. Ever since the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, I have been seriously concerned that the United States cannot handle it. The problem is irreversible and the country will collapse. The greatest danger we face today is this kind of cryptofascism that we see in America and elsewhere.
“Oh, we live in scary times. I always tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid,’ and it’s true.” Worse, though, death threats are becoming more common. Not just politicians, but even American teachers who remove certain books from their syllabus get them.
“Look at how many guns there are in America. , the fax machine they used against me is like a bicycle, not a Ferrari, compared to the Internet.”
He said he was pleased that his book was reviewed in the newspaper on the artistic side rather than the political side.
stern I asked him what his advice is to people who are afraid of where the world is heading. We are witnessing the rise of a generation we urgently need now: a militant generation. We need people with organizational skills and a willingness to fight. fighter. For a society where life is worth living. As a writer, I’ve also found young writers to be role models again.
Yesterday, a question was asked about how Matar got access to the event. Paul Susko, an attorney based in the town of Erie, Pennsylvania, where Rushdie is currently on a ventilator at UPMC Hammot Hospital, said attendees were prohibited from bringing food or drink into the hall. , said it was just that.
“There was a screening to prevent attendees from bringing in a cup of coffee,” Susko said. He added that “probably weapons screening” using a cane or walk-through metal detector “would be more helpful.”
Susko, who came to the event with her son, was in the front row next to the stage where Matar rushed to the author. “There was no security preventing us from going on stage,” he said Susko. “During the attack, I could not see the guards around the stage.”
Some in the audience said Matar was dressed in black and wore a mask. Eyewitness Kathleen Jones said, “I thought maybe it was part of a stunt to show that there was still a lot of controversy about this author.” became.”
The Chautauqua Institution began as a summer camp for Sunday School teachers and has grown into a major hub for cultural exchange and dialogue. Hours after the attack, the agency’s president, Michael Hill, said the site had never seen anything like it in its nearly 150-year history.
he said: Today we are called upon to take on fear and the worst of all human traits: hate. “
Hill confirmed that Matter had tickets to the event “just like any other patron.” He emphasized that the institution is open to everyone as part of its mission of inclusivity.
Given the sensitivity around Rushdie, he was asked if security should be increased by the presence of metal detectors.
Discussions took place before Friday’s meeting between state and local police and facilities and two police officers were assigned, a state trooper and a local councilor.Eugene Staniszewski of the New York State Police , said at a press conference that law enforcement had spoken to the agency earlier in the season.
“There were some high-profile events where they called for law enforcement to be present, and luckily they were,” he said. New York Governor Kathy Hochul praised the police officers’ actions. “It was the state trooper who stood up and saved his life and protected him and the moderator who was attacked,” she said.
Rushdie had no security of his own. When asked whether organizers should have made an effort to filter participants entering the facility, Hill vehemently disagreed.
“Our mission is to build bridges across differences,” he said. “Mr Rushdie is known as one of the most important free speech advocates. One of the worst things Shatowka can do for him is walk away from that mission.”