While Iran has yet to make an official statement on the attack on the author of ‘Satanic Verses’ Salman Rushdieseveral extremist newspapers in the country openly praised the 24 year old striker. Rushdie’s novel had prompted death threats from Iran since 1989.
Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and chest on Friday while on stage at a conference in New York State by Hadi Matar, a man from Fairview, New Jersey, who had bought a pass for the event at the Chautauqua Institution.
The radical newspaper Kayhan, whose editor is appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote: “A thousand kudos…to the courageous and dedicated person who attacked the apostate and evil Salman Rushdie in New York. He added, “The hand of the man who tore the neck of the enemy of God must be kissed.”
The Asr Iran news site published an oft-quoted quote from the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa in 1989 calling on Muslims everywhere to kill the Indian-born author, that the “arrow” drawn by the ruler “will one day hit the target”.
The headline of the radical newspaper Vatan Emrooz read: “A knife in the neck of Salman Rushdie”.
The daily Khorasan headlined: “Satan on his way to hell”.
In 2019, Twitter suspended Khamenei’s account over a tweet saying Khomeini’s fatwa against Rushdie was “solid and irrevocable”.
Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak on Friday night after the incident, condemned by writers and politicians around the world as an attack on free speech.
(With contributions from Reuters)