Emmanuel Macron comes out in support of author


The French president took to Twitter to declare his solidarity with the British author, who was attacked during a literary event in New York on Friday. He said, ‘Rushdie’s battle is ours, a universal one. More than ever today, we stand by his side’

New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron said his country stood with Salman Rushdie after the British author was hospitalised following an attack at an literary event in New York.

«For 33 years, Salman Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism…. His battle is ours, a universal one. More than ever today, we stand by his side,» he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose 12 staff members were gunned down in 2015 over cartoons about Prophet Mohammed considered blasphemous by many Muslims, said Saturday that nothing justified the stabbing of Rushdie.

As an advocate of freedom of speech, Rushdie notably had launched a strong defence of the French satirical magazine after its staff were gunned down.

Salman Rushdie embodies freedom fight against obscurantism Emmanuel Macron comes out in support of author

The artwork depicting members of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. AFP File

«Nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence,» Charlie Hebdo said.

«At the time we are writing these lines we do not know the motives» of the attacker, it said, speculating ironically whether it was spurred by global warming, the decline in purchasing power, or a ban on watering potted plants during the current heatwave.

The magazine’s managing editor, known as Riss and a survivor of the 2015 attack, said the Rushdie’s assailant was probably a practicising Muslim and slammed the «little and mediocre spiritual heads who are intellectually nil and culturally ignorant».

Rushdie’s 1988 book «The Satanic Verses» transformed his life when Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious decree, ordering his killing.

The novel was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

With input from agencies

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