Rogelio V. Solis/AP
MAYVILLE, NY – Salman Rushdie is “on the road to recovery,” his agent confirmed Sunday, two days after the “The Satanic Verses” writer was seriously injured. in a stab at a lecture in Upstate New York.
The news came after the announcement that the acclaimed author had been taken off the ventilator on Saturday and was able to talk and joke. Literary agent Andrew Wyllie cautioned that although Rushdie’s condition is “going in the right direction,” his recovery will be a long process. Wylie previously said that 75-year-old Rushdie had damaged his liver and nerves in an arm and an eye and was likely to lose the injured eye.
Rushdie’s son, Zafar Rushdie, said in a statement Sunday: “Although his life-altering injuries are serious, his normal spirited and defiant sense of humour remains intact.” The statement on behalf of the family expressed its gratitude to “members of the audience who bravely jumped to their rescue,” as well as to the police, doctors and “a shower of love and support from around the world.”
Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty Saturday to charges of murder and assault, which a prosecutor called “a targeted, unprovoked, premeditated assault” at the Chautauqua Institution, a non-profit education and withdrawal center. Told.
The attack was met with global shock and outrage, as well as praise for the man who faced death threats for more than three decades and held a $3 million bounty on his head for “The Satanic Verses.” Rushdie also spent nine years in hiding as part of a British government protection program.
Writers, activists and government officials cited Rushdie’s bravery in the face of such threats and his long advocacy of free speech. Writer and longtime friend Ian McEwan described Rushdie as “an inspirational defender of oppressed writers and journalists” and actor-writer Kal Penn called him “to an entire generation of artists, especially many of us in the South Asian diaspora.” A role model for the people”.
US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Saturday, “Salman Rushdie – with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced – stands for essential, universal ideals.” ” “Truth. Courage. Flexibility. The ability to share ideas without fear.”
Joshua Goodman / AP
Rushdie, who was born in India to a Muslim family and has lived in Britain and the US, is known for his surreal and satirical prose, beginning with his Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children”, in which he wrote sharply criticized the then criticism of. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Influenced by magical realism, 1988’s “The Satanic Verses” sparked outrage from some Muslims, who considered elements of the novel to be blasphemous.
He believed that Rushdie had insulted the Prophet Muhammad by naming a character Mahoud, a medieval corruption of “Muhammad”. The character was a prophet in a city called Jahiliya, which in Arabic refers to the time before the arrival of Islam on the Arabian Peninsula. Another sequence features prostitutes who share names with some of Muhammad’s nine wives. The epithet also implies that Muhammad, not Allah, may have been the real author of the Qur’an.
The book had already been banned and burned in India, Pakistan and elsewhere when Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa, or fatwa, in 1989 calling for Rushdie’s death. Khomeini died in the same year, but the fatwa remains in effect – although Iran, in recent years, had not focused on Rushdie.
Iran’s state-run newspaper, Iran Daily, on Sunday praised the attack as “the implementation of a divine decree”. Another radical newspaper, Kahan, dubbed it a “divine vengeance” that would partially quell the anger of Muslims.
Investigators were trying to determine whether the suspect, born nearly a decade after the novel’s publication, acted alone. A prosecutor pointed to the permanent fatwa as a possible motive for arguing against bail.
District Attorney Jason Schmidt said, “Their resources don’t matter to me. We understand that the agenda that was driven yesterday is something that was adopted and approved by large groups and organizations beyond the jurisdiction of Chautauqua County.” it was done.”
Schmidt said that Pea received an advance pass to the event where the writer was speaking and arrived the day before with a fake ID. The judge ordered Matar to be held without bail.
Public defender Nathaniel Barron complained that officers took too long to bring Peas before a judge, while he was “linked to a bench in state police barracks” and insisted that Peas had a right to be presumed innocence.
Barron said after the hearing that Peas was communicating openly with him and that he would spend the coming weeks trying to find out about his client, including whether he had psychological or addiction issues.
Matar was born in the United States to parents who hailed from Yaroun in southern Lebanon, the village’s mayor, Ali Tehfe, told the Associated Press. Flags of the Iran-backed Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, along with pictures of Hezbollah and Iranian leaders, were seen in Yarun before arriving reporters were told to leave on Saturday.
Hezbollah spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment.
In Tehran, some Iranians interviewed by the AP praised the attack on a writer they believe had tarnished the Islamic faith, while others worried it would further isolate their country.
Event moderator Henry Reese, 73, suffered a face injury and was discharged from hospital, police said. He and Rushdie had planned to discuss the United States as a refuge for artists in exile.
A state soldier and a county sheriff’s deputy were assigned to lecture Rushdie, and police said the soldier made the arrest. But later, some long-time visitors to the bucolic vacation colony questioned why there was no tight security given Rushdie’s history of threats.
an AP reporter on Friday Saw Rushdie stabbing or punching the attacker about 10 or 15 times,
News about the stabbing has sparked renewed interest in “The Satanic Verses”, which topped bestseller lists after the 1989 fatwa was released. As of Sunday morning, the novel was number 11 on Amazon.com’s list.
Writer and television host Padma Lakshmi, one of Rushdie’s ex-wives, tweeted Sunday that she was “relieved” by Rushdie’s forecast.
“Anxious and wordless, can finally exhale,” she wrote. “Hope for a speedy recovery now.”