Iran rejects any links with Salman Rushdie’s attacker

August 15, 2022 - 21:19

TEHRAN— Iran on Monday denied any link to the stabbing of Salman Rushdie, a British author famous for his blasphemous views about Islam.

“Regarding the attack on Salman Rushdie, we do not consider anyone other than [Rushdie] and his supporters worth of blame and even condemnation,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in his weekly news briefing, marking the country's first public reaction to the incident.

“We have not seen anything about the individual who carried out this act beyond what we've seen from the U.S. media,” Kanaani stated. 

He then stated, “We categorically and seriously deny any connection of the assailant with Iran.”

Rushdie was attacked on Friday before a scheduled lecture in western New York on Friday.

Rushdie was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey man. Police said the motive was unclear. 

The assailant stabbed him in the abdomen and the neck, the police and witnesses said. 

Rushdie's fiction book, "The Satanic Verses", released in September 1988. It was one of the most divisive works in recent literary history. It sparked violent and irate protests all around the world. 

The book has been prohibited in Iran, India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela, and Pakistan.

Rushdie referred to Prophet Muhammad in his book as "Mahound," a disparaging epithet given to the Prophet by early crusaders that meant "devil" or "false prophet."

In 1990, he issued a statement claiming he had renewed his Muslim faith, repudiated the attacks on Islam made by characters in his novel, and was committed to working for a better understanding of the religion around the world in the "hope that it would reduce the threat of Muslims acting on the fatwa to kill him." Rushdie later admitted that he was "pretending."

The British-Indian author, who currently lives in the United States, had been previously put under police protection because of threats to his life. The UK knighted him in 2007, which sparked protests in several countries in the Muslim world. 

Many countries with Muslim majorities denounced his knighthood. Several of these countries' parliaments criticized the action, and Iran and Pakistan recalled their British envoys to protest publicly.

Some non-Muslims were disappointed by Rushdie's knighthood, stating that the writer did not deserve the honor and that there were other writers who deserved it more than Rushdie. 

Norman Tebbit, the former chairman of the Conservative Party from 1985 to 1987, described Rushdie as a “outstanding villain” whose “public life has been a record of terrible deeds of betrayal of his childhood, faith, adoptive home, and nationality.”

Leave a Comment