Iran Blames Salman Rushdie And His Followers For The Attack On The Writer

Iran Blames Salman Rushdie And “his Followers” For The Attack On The Writer

The Government of Iran has blamed this Monday the writer Salman Rushdie for the attack he suffered on Friday. The 75-year-old writer had attended an event in Chautauqua, a town in western New York state, to speak about the importance of the United States giving asylum to exiled writers. During his speech, a man came up on stage and began beating and stabbing the writer.


Salman Rushdie, three decades under death threat

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The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Naser Kanani, has blamed Rushdie himself for the attack for “insulting” Islam and 1.5 billion Muslims. “We consider no one but him [Rushdie] and his followers worthy of guilt and even condemnation”, he assured at a press conference. The spokesman has also denied any link between the attacker and his country. “No one has the right to accuse Iran.”

The Anglo-Indian writer had to remain on a ventilator and undergo surgery for more than six hours after being attacked. As confirmed by his agent, Andrew Wylie, on Saturday he was disconnected from assisted breathing and the writer has already been able to speak, although he is still hospitalized with serious injuries with damage to the liver, a kidney and an eye, which he could lose.

In statements made this Sunday to the BBC, Wylie has assured that the writer has begun his recovery and that it will be long. “He no longer needs the respirator, so he has started his recovery,” explained the writer’s agent. “It will be a long road, the injuries are serious but his condition is going in the right direction.”

Authorities in New York charged Hadi Matar, the alleged perpetrator of the stabbing, with attempted murder and assault on Saturday. The 24-year-old was born in the US to parents who emigrated from Yaroun, in southern Lebanon, the town’s mayor, Ali Tehfe, told the Associated Press. Matar lived in the state of New Jersey and remains in custody without bail. The police say that the motives that led him to stab Rushdie are still unknown.

Flags of the Iranian-backed Shiite group Hezbollah are visible throughout the town, along with portraits of leader Hassan Nasrallah, Khamenei, Khomeini and assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Journalists who have visited Yaroun since Saturday have been asked to leave. Hezbollah spokesmen have not responded to requests for comment.

Iran’s theocratic government and its state media have not detailed the attacker’s motives. In Tehran, some Iranians have praised the attack on a perpetrator they say tarnished the Islamic faith, while others worry that what happened with Rushdie will further isolate the country.

Rushdie had lived in hiding and under police protection for years after the late Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for his death as punishment for publishing the satanic verses.

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