Ultra-conservatives in Iran, Pakistan, Syria celebrate attack on Rushdie


Eghtesad Salem, a conservative news website published a column saying that the attack was issuing a clear message to American officials. It stated that they would be hunted down for the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassim Suleimani, who died in a US airstrike in January 2020

‘Fired bullet won't rest till it hits target’: Ultra-conservatives in Iran, Pakistan, Syria celebrate attack on Rushdie

The front page of Iranian newspaper Vatan-e-Emrooz, which read — Knife in Salman Rushdie’s neck: Renegade author attacked in western New York. Image courtesy: vatanemrooz.ir

New Delhi: The assailant who attacked British author Salman Rushdie at a book event at New York’s Chautauqua Institution on Friday was identified as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, by police. He was arrested at the scene and was awaiting arraignment.

Matar was born a decade after “The Satanic Verses” was published. The motive for the attack is unclear, State Police Major Eugene Staniszewski said.

Iran, Syria, Pakistan celebrate

Meanwhile as the world continues to try to come to terms with the attack and what message it sends to artists, writers and supporters of creative freedom, Iranian ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan on Saturday hailed the assailant who attacked British author Salman Rushdie — the target of a 1989 Iranian fatwa calling for his death.

Fired bullet wont rest till it hits target Ultraconservatives in Iran Pakistan Syria celebrate attack on Rushdie

The front pages of the 13 August edition of the Iranian newspapers, Vatan-e Emrooz, front, with title reading in Farsi: «Knife in the neck of Salman Rushdie,» and Hamshahri, rear, with title: «Attack on writer of Satanic Verses,» are pictured in Tehran Saturday, 13 August, 2022. AP

Rushdie was on a ventilator after he was stabbed during a literary event in New York state on Friday, more than 30 years after he went into hiding following former supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa.

«Bravo to this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York,» wrote the paper, whose chief is appointed by current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

«Let us kiss the hands of the one who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife,» the daily added.

With the exception of reformist publications including Etemad, the majority of Iranian media followed a similar line, describing Rushdie as an «apostate».

Supporters of the government have praised the stabbing, saying that it is Khomeini’s fatwa finally materialising into action after 33 years. Some said that they were hoping for the author, who was knighted in 2007 in Britain ‘for services to literature’, to die following the brutal attack.

Others warned that those who were considered an enemy to the Islamic Republic would suffer a similar fate as him.

A quote reportedly from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Iranian leader, was shared online with him saying the fatwa against Rushdie was ‘fired like a bullet that won’t rest until it hits its target.’

The Daily Mail reports, Conservative Iranian pundit Keyvan Saedy said on Twitter: ‘This deserves congratulation: God willing, we will celebrate Salman Rushdie going to hell soon.’

Hossein Saremi, a conservative social media activist, added that a ‘lion’ had beaten Rushdie and that the attacker was part of ‘Islam’s soldiers without borders.’ He wrote: ‘Revenge may be delayed, but it will inevitably happen’.

A senior adviser to Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, said that he will not shed a tear for the writer ‘who spouts endless hatred and contempt for Muslims and Islam.’
Several accounts affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, for which Matar reportedly was sympathetic towards, openly boasted about the attack.

Syria News published a post saying: ‘The order was carried out at a place they never thought about. It’s not important if he doesn’t die; it’s important that they understand the battle is not over.’

Eghtesad Salem, a conservative news website published a column saying that the attack was issuing a clear message to American officials. It stated that they would be hunted down for the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassim Suleimani, who died in a US airstrike in January 2020.

Majid Motamedi wrote: ‘Carrying out the order to murder Salman Rushdie 33 years after it was issued sends a message to American officials that they must fear Iran’s revenge for General ‘Qassim Suleimani, until their death, even if the revenge takes 33 years.’

However, Iranian authorities have yet to make any official comment on the stabbing attack against Rushdie.

In Pakistan a Dawn journalist Ali Waqar came out in support of Matar. He tweeted:

With input from agencies

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