Salman Rushdie Attack

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August 17, 2022

What is the issue?

British Indian author Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage by a man as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

Who is Salman Rushdie?

  • Salman Rushdie is an Indian-born writer whose novels examine historical and philosophical issues by means of surreal characters, brooding humour, and an effusive and melodramatic prose style.
  • The British-American citizen who was born to non-practising Muslims and is an atheist himself has become a vocal advocate for freedom of expression.
  • Famous novels- Grimus, Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Quichotte, Languages of Truth: Essays 2003–2020.
  • Rushdie received the Booker Prize in 1981 for Midnight’s Children which subsequently won the Booker of Bookers (1993) and the Best of the Booker (2008).
  • Mr. Rushdie was knighted in 2007 by the Queen.
  • His next novel, Victory City, is due to be published in February 2023.


What is the issue with his book “The Satanic Verses”?

  • The Satanic Verses depict the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran in a manner that drew criticism from Muslim community leaders who denounced the novel as blasphemous.
  • Public demonstrations against the book spread to Pakistan in 1989.
  • The spiritual leader of revolutionary Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, publicly condemned the book and issued a fatwa (legal opinion) against Rushdie.
  • A bounty was offered to anyone who would execute him.
  • He went into hiding for nine years.
  • In 1998, the Iranian government announced that it would no longer seek to enforce its fatwa against Rushdie.
  • The Satanic Verses was banned first in India.

What about the recent attack?

  • Recent attack- A man ran up onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie.
  • Police detained a suspect named as Hadi Matar whose social media accounts are reportedly filled with pro-Khomeini and pro-Iran content.
  • No motive or charges have yet been confirmed by police.
  • Role of Iran- Iran has denied any role but the pro-state media in Iran applauded the suspect as courageous and duty-conscious man.
  • Iran may not have a direct role in the attack but as the fatwa issued by the leader of its revolution has hunted down this man.
  • Iran has the moral responsibility, at least now when he is recovering from serious wounds, to revoke the fatwa and unequivocally condemn the attack.



  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/taking-responsibility-on-salman-rushdie-attack-in-new-york/article65775946.ece
  2. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Salman-Rushdie
  3. https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/salman-rushdie-attacked-on-lecture-stage-in-new-york/article65762672.ece


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