Salman Rushdie received death threats for decades before the New York attack: NPR


Author Salman Rushdie at the Blue Sofa at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images


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Salman Rushdie received death threats for decades before the New York attack: NPR

Author Salman Rushdie at the Blue Sofa at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

For the past 33 years, world-renowned author Salman Rushdie has lived under threat because of his writings.

Rushdie was forced into hiding after the publication of his 1988 novel, satanic verses. It took nearly a decade for Rushdie to become more vocal and visible – although he continued to write stories. Today, Rushdie is widely known as a strong advocate for artistic expression.

He was due to speak about it at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday when a 24-year-old man came on stage and stabbed the author in the neck and chest, the court said. New York State Police. Rushdie remains hospitalized. Her attacker, Hadi Matar, was charged with attempted murder and assault.

Rushdie, 75, was born in India and later grew up in England. He has written 14 novels, many of which have been translated into over 40 languages ​​and have received numerous accolades. In 2008 Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Why some found Rushdie’s work offensive

The controversy began after Rushdie published his fourth novel, satanic versesin 1988.

The story centers on two Indian Muslims living in England. It reimagines parts of the life of the Prophet Muhammad and, in one section, suggests that the founder of Islam may have flirted with polytheism.

Whether this interpretation is supported by Islamic texts has been disputed by historians, but in a 2012 interview with NPR morning edition, the author said that was not the point.

“My goal wasn’t to write just about Islam,” said Rushdie, who was born into a Muslim family.

“In my opinion, the story – as it exists in the novel – reflects quite well the new idea of ​​religion being born because it shows that it may have flirted with compromise, but has then rejected; and when she triumphed, she was rather merciful.”

The backlash included violent protests, the burning of bookstores and an order to assassinate Rushdie

satanic verses received immediate and violent backlash from Muslims who found the book’s portrayals of Islam insulting.

A few months after its publication, the novel was banned in a number of countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Sudan. His native country, India, banned the importation of the book.

The controversy has also sparked violent protests and attacks on bookstores around the world. Several people linked to the novel were also threatened, including Hitoshi Igarashi, a Japanese scholar who translated the book, who was killed in 1991.

In 1989, the Iranian leader called for Rushdie’s assassination and a multi-million dollar bounty was offered. Iran pulled out of the religious order, also known as a fatwa, in 1998, saying it “would not support or hinder assassination operations against Rushdie”. However, the order has not been officially withdrawn.

Rushdie wrote a memoir about his time in hiding which was published in 2012. He lived under the pseudonym Joseph Anton.

“One of the weirdest things is that no one thought this was going to last very long,” he told NPR in 2012. politicians do their job, and it will be solved. Instead, in the end, it took almost 12 years.”

In a statement, literary freedom group PEN America said Rushdie had been targeted for decades but “never flinched or wavered”.

“We can think of no comparable incident of a violent public attack on a literary writer on American soil,” CEO Suzanne Nossel wrote. “We fervently hope and believe that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.”


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