USA: On Saturday, a day after being stabbed as he got ready to give a lecture in upstate New York, Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, was taken off a ventilator and was able to speak.
Rushdie was still in the hospital with serious wounds, but in the evening, fellow writer Aatish Taseer tweeted that he was "off the ventilator and talking [and joking]". Andrew Wylie, Rushdie's agent, reaffirmed that information without providing any additional information.
In a "pre-planned" crime, according to the prosecutor, the man accused of attacking him on Friday at the non-profit education and retreat centre Chautauqua Institution entered a not guilty plea to attempted murder and assault charges. When Hadi Matar was being arraigned in western New York, his attorney entered the plea on his behalf. The suspect showed up in court with his hands cuffed in front of him, dressed in a black and white jumpsuit with a white face mask.
After hearing from the district attorney that Matar, 24, had taken steps to put himself in a position to harm Rushdie by obtaining an advance pass to the event where the author was speaking and showing up a day early with a fake ID, the judge ordered him held without bail.
Wylie revealed on Friday night that Rushdie, 75, had a damaged liver as well as severed nerves in an arm and an eye. He was probably going to lose the damaged eye. The attack drew shock and outrage from a large portion of the world, as well as tributes and praise for the honourable author who has received death threats for The Satanic Verses for more than 30 years.
Despite the dangers to his own safety, authors, activists, and government officials praised Rushdie for his bravery and long-standing support of free speech. Rushdie was praised as "an inspirational defender of persecuted writers and journalists across the world" by author and longtime friend Ian McEwan, and actor-author Kal Penn cited him as an inspiration "for an entire generation of artists, especially many of us in the South Asian diaspora toward whom he's shown incredible warmth."
In a statement on Saturday, US President Joe Biden expressed how "shocked and saddened" he and first lady Jill Biden were by the attack.
The statement read, "Salman Rushdie stands for fundamental, universal ideals with his insight into humanity, his unmatched sense for story, and his refusal to be intimidated or silenced." “Truth. Courage. Resilience. the capacity to discuss ideas without hesitation. These constitute the foundation of any open and free society.
In his 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel Midnight's Children, in which he sharply criticised India's then-prime minister, Indira Gandhi, Rushdie, an Indian native who has since lived in Britain and the United States, introduced readers to his surreal and satirical prose style.
After The Satanic Verses was published in 1988, there were numerous death threats made against the author because many Muslims believed, among other things, that a dream sequence based on the life of the Prophet Muhammad was blasphemous. Before Iran's Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's execution in 1989, his book had already been outlawed and burned in India, Pakistan, and other countries. Even though Khomeini passed away that year, the fatwa is still in force. The edict was never withdrawn by Iran's current supreme leader, Khamenei, despite the country's recent lack of attention to the author.
The suspect, who was born a decade after The Satanic Verses was released, was the subject of an investigation to ascertain whether or not he acted alone.The fatwa was mentioned by District Attorney Schmidt as a possible justification for opposing bail.Schmidt stated, "We stand a risk that bail could be satisfied even if this court set a million dollar bail."To me, it doesn't matter what he has. We know that the agenda that was followed yesterday was approved and adopted by larger organisations and groups that extend far beyond Chautauqua County's legal jurisdiction, the prosecutor said.
After the hearing, public defender Barone stated that Matar had been speaking with him honestly and that he would be spending the next few weeks trying to learn more about his client, including whether or not he has any psychological or addiction issues.From Fairview, New Jersey, is Matar. Matar joined the State of Fitness Boxing Club on April 11 and participated in roughly 27 group sessions for beginners looking to improve their fitness before emailing Rosaria Calabrese a few days later to request to cancel his membership because "he wouldn't be coming back for a while," according to Rosaria Calabrese, manager of the small, close-knit gym in nearby North Bergen.
Desmond Boyle, the owner of the gym, said he observed "nothing violent" about Matar and described him as quiet and polite but with a "tremendously sad" expression all the time. He claimed that despite their best efforts to engage and welcome Matar, he resisted them. He always entered the room with this expression. Boyle said, "It appeared to be the worst day of his life.According to Ali Tehfe, the mayor of the village, Matar was born in the US to parents who had fled Yaroun in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah flags can be seen all over the village, along with statues of its founder Hassan Nasrallah, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Khomeini, and the assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. On Saturday, Yaroun welcomed journalists, but they were asked to leave. Requests for comment from Hezbollah spokespeople were not met with a response. Theocratic Iran's government and state-run media gave no explanation for the attack. Some Iranians in Tehran who were interviewed by the AP applauded the attack on an author they thought had defiled Islam, while others were concerned that it would further isolate their nation. On Friday, an AP reporter saw the assailant punch or stab Rushdie 10–15 times.
73-year-old event moderator Henry Reese was hospitalised for treatment of a facial injury before being released, according to the police. He and Rushdie were going to talk about the US as a haven for writers and other exiled creatives. Rushdie's lecture was attended by a state trooper and a county sheriff's deputy, and according to the police, it was the trooper who made the arrest. However, some frequent Chautauqua Institution attendees later questioned why there wasn't more intense security given the threats against Rushdie and the more than US$3 million bounty on his head.
The centre announced on Saturday that it was enhancing security with steps like requiring photo IDs to buy gate passes, which previously could be obtained anonymously. Bags of any kind are not allowed to be carried inside the amphitheatre where Rushdie was assaulted. To Chautauquans who have long enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere for which the nearly 150-year-old vacation colony is known, the changes, along with an increase in the number of armed police officers on the bucolic grounds, came as something of a shock.
The Satanic Verses, which topped bestseller lists after the fatwa was issued in 1989, has received new attention as a result of the stabbing news. On Amazon.com, the book was ranked No. 13 as of Saturday afternoon. Rushdie fled the country under a British government protection programme that included a 24-hour armed guard due to the death threats and bounty he received for the book after its release. Rushdie cautiously resumed more public appearances after nine years of isolation.
He used the pseudonym Joseph Anton while he was hiding out, and in 2012 he published a memoir about the fatwa under that name. The following year, he claimed that terrorism was essentially the art of fear during a speech in New York City: "The only way you can defeat it is by deciding not to be afraid."