The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Salman Rushdie: Author in surgery after being stabbed on stage

By Sam Cabral   BBC News, Washington

Image shows Salman RushdieIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

Witnesses say Salman Rushdie was stabbed multiple times

Author Salman Rushdie, who suffered years of Islamist death threats after writing The Satanic Verses, has been stabbed on stage in New York state.

The Booker Prize winner, 75, was speaking at an event at the Chautauqua Institution at the time.

New York State Police said a man ran up onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie, who is now undergoing surgery at a local trauma centre.

Police detained a suspect named as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.

No motive or charges have yet been confirmed by police.

Mr Rushdie was stabbed at least once in the neck, and at least once in the abdomen. He was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter.

The interviewer who was also on stage, Henry Reese, suffered a minor head injury and was taken to a local hospital. Mr Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit that provides sanctuary to writers exiled under threat of persecution.

Police told a press conference that staff and audience members had rushed the attacker and took him to the ground, and he was then arrested.

A video posted online shows the moment people dashed onto the stage immediately after the incident, and police said a doctor in the audience gave Mr Rushdie first aid.

Media caption,

Watch: From the scene where Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage

Indian-born novelist Mr Rushdie catapulted to fame with Midnight's Children in 1981, which went on to sell over one million copies in the UK alone.

But his fourth book, in 1988 - The Satanic Verses - forced him into hiding for nine years.

The surrealist, post-modern novel sparked outrage among some Muslims, who considered its content to be blasphemous, and was banned in some countries.

A year after the book's release, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for Mr Rushdie's execution. He offered a $3m (£2.5m) reward in a fatwa - a legal decree issued by an Islamic religious leader.

The bounty over Mr Rushdie's head remains active, and although Iran's government has distanced itself from Khomeini's decree, a quasi-official Iranian religious foundation added a further $500,000 to the reward in 2012.

The British-American citizen - who was born to non-practising Muslims and is an atheist himself - has become a vocal advocate for freedom of expression, defending his work on several occasions.

Presentational grey line

Analysis by Aleem Maqbool, BBC religion editor

Salman Rushdie has faced death threats for more than 30 years since the publication of The Satanic Verses. Mr Rushdie said the main thrust of his novel was to examine the immigrant experience, but some Muslims were offended by portrayals of the Prophet Muhammed and the questioning of the nature of the revelation of the Quran as the word of God.

The Satanic Verses was banned first in the author's country of birth, India, and then several other countries before Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued his infamous fatwa.

The fatwa called for the killing of anyone involved in the publication of the book and offered rewards to those who took part in the murders. That fatwa has never formally been rescinded.

Surprised by the widespread nature of the protests, Salman Rushdie apologised to Muslims but went into hiding for much of the next 10 years.

Though the writer had escaped physical harm until now, others associated with the book had not, with its Norwegian publisher having been shot and seriously wounded in the early 90s, and its Japanese translator stabbed to death.

Presentational grey line

When Mr Rushdie was knighted in 2007 by the Queen, it sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where one cabinet minister said the honour "justifies suicide attacks".

Several literary events attended by Mr Rushdie have been subject to threats and boycotts - but he continues to write. His next novel, Victory City, is due to be published in February 2023.

Salman Rushdie's life in numbers

1px transparent line

His appearance at the Chautauqua Institution event, in western New York, was the first in a summertime lecture series hosted by the non-profit organisation.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend."

Writer and graphic novel creator Neil Gaiman said he was "shocked and distressed" by the attack on his friend and fellow writer.

"He's a good man and a brilliant one and I hope he's okay," Gaiman wrote on Twitter.

In a statement, Mr Rushdie's publishers at Penguin Random House said: "We condemn this violent public assault, and our thoughts are with Salman and his family at this distressing time."

New York Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to "assist however needed in the investigation" into the stabbing.

"Here's an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power. Someone who's been out there, unafraid, despite the threats that have followed him his entire adult life," she said.

Tags: Attack, New, Rushdie, Salman, York, on

Views: 119

Replies to This Discussion

"No motive or charges have yet been confirmed by police"

Yes, it's a complete mystery. After all, what with with Islam being a religion of peace and all, it can't possibly be to do with a book he wrote. 

How did Hadi Matar know where to find Mr Rushdie?

Maybe Cat Stevens / Yusef Islam told him.

'When a death fatwa was issued by top Iranian clerics on the head of Salman Rushdie, Islam said that he would turn Rushdie over to the Ayatollah Khomeini or his followers should the author show up on his doorstep.'

Someone should ask ole Cat/Yusef what he thinks about what just happened.

BTW, I notice that the surname of the 'alleged' killer is Matar.  In Spanish this means 'to kill.'

You know in many countries forenames are regulated? Well I think regulation should also apply to surnames, and names that advocate killing people, like Jihad and Matar, should be banned.  We Westerners are so sloppy.

As for knowing where to find him, it was a publicly advertised event, and I heard there was no security on entry at all - all they were doing was checking that you'd bought a ticket.

As for knowing where to find him, it was a publicly advertised event, and I heard there was no security on entry at all - all they were doing was checking that you'd bought a ticket.

Salman Rushdie was sloppy with his own security.  Even we know that Islam never sleeps, it only pauses in its work of jihad/terror.  What was he thinking?! I hope he recovers fully soon; and other writers take courage.

Islam is an international terror sponsoring network, for the purpose of making the whole world bow to Allah and conform with the Sharia.

I think if he'd stayed in the UK, he would have kept a police detail. But he chose to live in the US.

From the Free Speech Union:

"The suspect charged with stabbing Sir Salman Rushdie said yesterday that he believes the Iranian leader who called for his assassination was a “great man”. (Times, 18th August).

Hadi Matar, 24, said that he had “read a couple pages” of The Satanic Verses and thought Rushdie was “someone who attacked Islam”.

Matar, who has denied attempted murder and assault, spoke for the first time since the attack, in an interview with the New York Post from the Chautauqua County Jail.

In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader, issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death. Khomeini died later that year. “I respect the ayatollah. I think he’s a great person,” Matar said.

When asked about Rushdie, he said: “I don’t like him very much.” He added: “He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”

Matar is due to appear in court again tomorrow, when hundreds of writers will gather in New York to read from Rushdie’s works in an act of defiance against the fatwa. The event is a re-creation of a similar public reading of Rushdie’s books that was held a few days after the order to kill him was issued by Khomeini.

Worth a read in full:

Matar is due to appear in court again tomorrow, when hundreds of writers will gather in New York to read from Rushdie’s works in an act of defiance against the fatwa.

Yes but:

  1. They will not read from the Satanic Verses, which caused the fatwa
  2. They will not protest outside the Iranian embassy, and Iran issued the fatwa, and never retracted it. 

I find it amazing that the 'free societies' allow terrorist nations to issue fatwas against their citizens, without making any corresponding fatwa against that society or the person that issued it.

We are feeding the terror through our taxes.


Page Monitor

Just fill in the box below on any 4F page to be notified when it changes.

Privacy & Unsubscribe respected

Muslim Terrorism Count

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

© 2023   Created by Netcon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service