'The devil on path to hell,' Iranian newspapers celebrate stabbing of Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Hardline Iranian newspapers are celebrating the stabbing of Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, in New York on Friday.

The assailant, Hadi Matar had stabbed Rushdie in the neck at a literary event in upstate New York Friday.

He stormed the stage soon after his introduction.

The 24-year-old man proceeded to stab Rushdie, who was scheduled to talk at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., some 75 miles south of Buffalo.

Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said “Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”

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However, Iranian newspapers were celebrating the attack on Rushdie on Friday saying that he is heading to hell for blaspheming Muhammed.
The Kayhan newspaper said “A thousand bravos, a hundred God blesses. His hand must be kissed… Bravo to the warrior and dutiful man who attacked the Apostate and wicked Salman Rushdie. The hand of the warrior must be kissed. He tore the vein of Rushdie’s neck.”
 Another Iranian newspaper, Khorasan, came out with the headline,  “The Devil on the Path to Hell” while showing a picture of Rushdie on a stretcher.
Rushdie had reported that he still received a “sort of Valentine’s card” from Iran each year on 14 February letting him know the country has not forgotten the vow to kill him and has jokingly referred to it as my “unfunny Valentine.”

Rushdie is a multiple award-winning novelist, whose fame goes beyond borders and break boundaries, even though his freedom has been restricted since he published the surrealist, postmodernist novel, Satanic Verses in 1988. The book title refers to two verses removed by Prophet Mohammed from the Koran because he believed they were inspired by the devil.

The Satanic Verses not only got him a fatwa (a decree calling for the writer’s assassination), which then Iranian Spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued in 1989, a year after the book was published, it brought about international turmoil unprecedented in it’s scale.

The book was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities (13 in total: Iran, India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela and Pakistan).

Since then the 75-year-old writer has not slept with his two eyes closed. Death threats were made against him, and he was forced to go into hiding. The British government placed the writer under police protection.

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