The assassination attempt on the British novelist of Indian origin Salman Rushdie on August 12, 2022 inside the Chautauqua Institute in western New York by a young man named “Hadi Matar” sparked outrage from the international community, especially America, Britain and France.
On the contrary, some officials and the Iranian regime’s media welcomed this attempt, which comes 33 years after the former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 to shed Rushdie’s blood because of his novel “The Satanic Verses” published in 1988.
In a statement late Sunday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said Rushdie was “in our thoughts in the aftermath of this heinous attack.”
“Specifically, Iranian state institutions have incited violence against Rushdie for generations, and state-affiliated media recently gloated about the attempt on his life. This is despicable,” said Blinken.
Just hours after Friday’s attack at a literary event in western New York state, the British author had undergone emergency surgery for potentially life-threatening injuries.
Two days later, Rushdie was on the road to recovery and showing signs of his “feisty and defiant” self, family and friends said Sunday, days after the shocking assault left him on a ventilator with multiple stab wounds.
Mr. Rushdie was stabbed roughly 10 times on Friday while speaking at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. He suffered multiple injuries, including a damaged liver, and is expected to lose an eye.
On the other hand, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, in the first remarks from the government since the assault, said the prizewinning author had crossed “red lines.”
In the first official statement by Tehran since the attack, the spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, put the blame on Mr. Rushdie.
According to the Iranian Students’ News Agency, Mr. Kanaani said that Mr. Rushdie had crossed “red lines” and “exposed himself to the anger and ire of the people.” He said that Tehran had no information on the attacker beyond what was being reported in U.S. news media.
“In this case, we don’t blame or condemn anyone except Salman Rushdie and his supporters,” Mr. Kanaani said.
The police arrested Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man, in the attack.
Despite the failure of attempts to assassinate “Rushdie” over the past years, a number of those who translated this novel or published excerpts from it, some of them were killed and some were seriously injured.
Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a senior adviser to Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, said he would not shed a tear for the writer “who spouts endless hatred and contempt for Muslims and Islam.”
Meanwhile, speaking to the Associated Press, Reza Amiri, a 27-year-old deliveryman, said: “I don’t know Salman Rushdie, but I am happy to hear that he was attacked since he insulted Islam.
France President Emmanuel Macron said Rushdie’s fight is universal now.
Macron took to Twitter to write, “For 33 years, Salman Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism. He has just been the victim of a cowardly attack by the forces of hatred and barbarism. His fight is our fight; it is universal. Now more than ever, we stand by his side.”
Moreover, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the attack and wrote, “Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.”