Author Salman Rushdie was severely injured in a stabbing by a suspected Muslim extremist on Friday while he was on stage at a literary event in New York state of USA. Rushdie was flown by helicopter to a hospital from the remote education and spiritual centre in Chautauqua about 550 km from New York City.
As per CBS News, Rushdie’s agent said that the author underwent surgery and is currently on a ventilator and cannot speak. He said Rushdie will likely lose an eye, adding that the nerves in his arm were “severed” and his liver was “stabbed and damaged.”
The assailant, who pushed him to the floor and attacked him, was taken into custody by a state police trooper who was there, police said. He has been identified as Hadi Matar, 24, from New Jersey. It is reported that it took almost five people to free Rushdie and his interviewer Henry Reese from the hold of Matar who kept stabbing Rushdie in a frenzied manner.
Initial investigations indicate that Matar was sympathetic to Shia extremism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). IRGC was founded by Shia cleric Ayatollah Khomeini, the first supreme leader of Iran from 1979 until his death in 1989, who had issued several fatwas against Rushdie over his book Satanic Verses published in 1988 which Muslim fundamentalists had deemed ‘blasphemous’.
Ironically, Rushdie was participating at the Chautauqua Institution in a “discussion of the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression”.
Various Iranian organisations put rewards of more than $3 million for killing the 75-year-old India-born writer. Rushdie went underground with British government protection for several years and moved to the US in 2000 and has since been in public. He escaped an assassination attempt in 1989 when a bomb went off at a London hotel where he was thought to be staying and demolished two floors of the building. A Lebanese group Mujahidin of Islam claimed responsibility for that attack.
59 people reportedly died over the years in attacks and violent protests related to Rushdie and his book. Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi was stabbed to death, and the Norwegian and Italian translators survived deadly attacks.
Al Qaeda also put him on its hit list along with several literary and media figures it claimed insulted Islam. Rushdie has always maintained that his book was not an anti-religious novel or especially critical of Islam.
Rushdie and Bharat
Bharat, led by then PM Rajiv Gandhi, was the first nation to ban Rushdie’s book, bowing down to Islamist pressure before even Muslim-majority nations did.
HinduPost wishes Rushide a full and speedy recovery and appreciates his advocacy of free speech, but unfortunately his attitude towards Hindus and legitimate Hindu concerns is no different than the rest of the liberal brigade. By consistently projecting the RSS and BJP as ‘Hindutva fascists’, he contributed to the same normalized Hinduphobia in the West which has allowed ongoing genocides of Bangladeshi and Pakistani Hindus, Hindu exoduses within Bharat, and the cultural genocide by predatory Christian missionaries to go virtually unnoticed.
A series of tweets by veteran journalist Kanchan Gupta inform us on how Rushdie diligently followed the global left-liberal playbook on Hindus:
“In 1999 PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee lifted the travel ban imposed by @INCIndia on Salman Rushdie in 1988. He visited India in 2000. At dinners hosted by fashionable Lutyens libbies, he fulsomely praised Nehru, his clan and Congress, spat on ‘Hindu Nationalist BJP’
After NDA lost 2004 Lok Sabha election and Sonia Gandhi/Congress came to power as head of UPA, Salman Rushdie wrote an op-ed (iirc, International Herald Tribune) celebrating India’s ‘liberation’ from ‘Hindu Nationalist BJP’, excoriating CM Modi and hailing Congress as saviour.
Moral of the story: It is good to stand by ‘principles’, mostly deracinated, pompous hogwash crafted by duplicitous liberals and morally bankrupt lefties, but it is better to choose your friends and allies wisely in a civilisational war of existence. Think. No need to reply.”
In the years since Satanic Verses, Rushdie has become a celebrity of the global liberal intelligentsia. Unsurprisingly, Indian liberals are also queuing up with eloquent condemnations of this brutal attack.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Utterly horrified & shocked by the stabbing of @SalmanRushdie. Wish him a speedy & complete recovery from his wounds, even though, with a sinking heart, I recognize that life for him can never be the same again. A sad day, worse if creative expression can no longer be free &open.“
The same Tharoor had flippantly brought up a cricket match to deflect attention from Kanhaiyalal Teli’s brutal beheading by Islamists. After all, there is more to be gained by virtue signaling about an elite like Salman Rushdie, than to stand up for free speech rights of an ordinary lower-middle class Hindu.
Being masters of intellectual gymnastics, Indian liberals were also seen trying to conflate the murderous Islamist attack on Rushdie, to Hindu calls for boycott of films made by those with lengthy track-records of Hindu-bashing, or to court cases against likes of Munawar Faruqui who desecrate Hindu deities.
Netizens called out the hypocrisy of several such ‘liberal’ voices, and also hypothesized cogently on the likely techniques that would be deployed to deflect blame from Islamic fundamentalism –
Macron vs Modi
One of the most clear-cut condemnations of this attack has come from French President Emmanuel Macron, who tweeted, “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.”
Macron had become an object for hate for Islamists worldwide after he gave France’s highest honor to teacher Samuel Paty who was beheaded by an Islamist for allegedly showing Charlie Hebdo cartoons (that caricature Islam’s Prophet and other religious figures) to teach his class about freedom of expression. France had also projected the cartoons on some government buildings.
Some netizens asked why Bharat’s PM Narendra Modi has not yet reacted on the spate of ‘blasphemy’ murders and brutal attacks on at least a dozen Hindus in the aftermath of the Nupur Sharma controversy manufactured by Islamist propagandist Md. Zubair. They reminded the PM that while he has been silent over attacks on Hindus, including the barbaric post-poll pogrom against BJP supporters in WB, he has assuaged concerns raised in past by sustained left-liberal propaganda campaigns such as ‘cow lynchings’ and ‘church under attack’.