The 75-year-old novelist Salman Rushdie, winner of the Booker Prize, was attacked in New York on Friday. Onstage, he was stabbed in the back, as per a statement released by The New York Times. He was saving up his thoughts until he could give a talk on the issue at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. It would focus on the importance of the United States of America as a safe haven for artists working outside the nation. Rushdie has given a talk there before.
The assailant of author Salman Rushdie was apprehended shortly after the attack occurred. The New York Police Department has named Hadi Matar as the person of concern in this investigation. A young guy of 24 years, he was a native of Fairview, New Jersey. Using a knife, he repeatedly stabbed him in the stomach and neck.
Numerous murder attempts and death threats have been made against the British-Indian author since the September 1988 release of The Satanic Verses. As a result of his work on the book Midnight’s Children, he was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 1981. Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual head of Iran, declared Salman Rushdie to be a heretic on February 14, 1989, issuing a fatwa. This came after it was determined that Rushdie’s writings were disrespectful to Islam. As a consequence of this, there would be consequences in the long run.
After the fatwa was issued, Rushdie fled into exile. For a significant amount of time, it was standard practice to do violent actions such as outlawing books, burning books, bombing libraries, and threatening writers with death. This raises some important questions about the protection of creative expression in many nations worldwide.
Rushdie defended the right to free expression in an interview he gave to Channel 4 in 1989. The interview was conducted in response to the rising reaction against the book. You are in no way required to read any book that you do not voluntarily decide to read. To tell you the truth, The Satanic Verses do not truly contain any objectionable content. It is vital to spend a significant amount of time reading intently. The overall number of words in the piece is very nearly a quarter of a million.
The writer was prepared for some criticism of his work, but not quite as much as he received. The tale of Indian Muslim actors Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, which is at the center of the satire known as The Satanic Verses, is based on their miraculous survival and transformation following an airplane tragedy. This miraculous survival and metamorphosis are at the core of the satire. The author’s story was told in a magical realism fashion throughout the whole thing.
When it was first published in the Western hemisphere, the book was met with favorable reactions from readers. In 1988, he was awarded the Booker prize and the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel in recognition of his work.
The government of India under Rajiv Gandhi decided to ban the book because it was seen to be insulting to people’s religious beliefs. Nonetheless, this book was banned barely nine days after it was made available to the public. Anti-book movements surfaced in the United Kingdom at the same time they did elsewhere.
By year’s end, the book had been banned from publication in a number of nations. This category encompasses a variety of nations, including Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, and Bangladesh, among others. It was not that long before other countries followed suit.
Iran, on the other hand, did not immediately raise a fuss over being insulted by the book. But almost immediately, there was a response directed not just at the book but also against Rushdie. After then, a number of influential religious figures assemble close to Khomeini in order to take turns reading aloud from the book. Particularly, there was a passage that gave off the eerie impression of being a caricature of an imam who was living in exile. Even a three million dollar prize was offered for information leading to the author’s killer.
Rushdie would remain hidden from the public eye for the next nine years. He never stopped moving around. As the volume of the clamor continued to rise, security officers and bodyguards encircled him to ensure his safety. In his emotional memoir, Joseph Anton, which was released in 2012, Rushdie describes his choice to write behind a pen name so that he might avoid being persecuted. He was no longer himself and took the form of a ghostly person wearing a white mask instead.
His whim would determine whether clarifications of his position were provided or not. The book, which is a best-seller in certain countries like the United States, would have to be removed from stores worldwide if damage were to occur. Iran’s government published a statement rejecting the fatwa in 1998.
After that, nobody heard from him again until sometime around the year 1998. In the end, he advocated for people’s rights to freely express themselves, including those of artists and the general public. Despite all of this, he continues to produce best-selling books. Following the issuance of the fatwa, he moved away from India and remained there till ultimately returning to his homeland in the year 2000. He was there to witness the presentation of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, and he was accompanied by his son Zafar.
In 2012, a religious organization in Iran increased the prize for information leading to his arrest. Following this, he dismissed the threat and said that there was no evidence that anybody wanted the award.