Conservative Iranian Media Praise Attacker Rushdie

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Conservative media in Iran praise the man who stabbed writer Salman Rushdie on Friday. Rushdie has faced threats since 1988 because of his book The Satanic Verses, which is considered blasphemous by some Muslims.

 

It is not yet clear whether Rushdie was injured because of his novel. However, the publication of the controversial book led to protests in Iran in the 1980s. The then ruler of that country, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, pronounced a ‘fatwa’ against the author, a death sentence.

The suspect is praised by, among others, the newspaper Kayhan, whose boss has been appointed by the current Ayatollah. “A thousand bravos to the brave and conscientious man who attacked the renegade and evil Salman Rushdie,” writes Iran’s main ultra-conservative newspaper. The news site Asr Iran reports that the “arrow” shot by Khomeini “will one day hit the target,” and according to Khorasan, “Satan is on his way to hell.”

Rushdie, 75, has suffered multiple injuries and is in hospital on a ventilator. He was attacked during a lecture in the American city of New York. The 24-year-old suspect from Fairview, New Jersey, had bought a ticket for this event, according to police. His motive is being investigated.

Rushdie went into hiding in the early years after the fatwa and was also heavily protected. After the Iranian government renounced the death sentence in 1998, Rushdie stopped fleeing after ten years. Current Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in 2005 that he still believed killing the “renegade” Rushdie is permissible under Islam.

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