Aug. 13 () –
While awaiting a firm official statement from the Iranian Government, the press linked to the authorities of the Islamic Republic has applauded the assassination attempt against the British writer of Indian origin Salman Rushdie during an event in the state of New York, which has left the former Booker Prize winner, persecuted for years by an edict from the late Ayatollah Khomeini, admitted in a very serious condition.
Rushdie, 75, is now intubated in a Pennsylvania hospital and is in serious danger of losing an eye after being stabbed by the assailant, identified as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. The first investigations of the Police, collected by NBC News, reveal that Matar sympathized on social networks with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as well as with Shiite extremism, but have not confirmed direct links with Tehran.
In the absence of an official reaction, the ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan, whose editors are directly appointed by the current supreme leader of the country, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared Matar a “brave and duty-conscious man”, before applauding him for attacking “to the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie”.
“Let us kiss the hands of those who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife,” the newspaper added, referring to one of the wounds caused to the writer, persecuted since the edict proclaimed by Khomeini in 1989 after the publication of his book ‘The Verses Satanists’, considered by the Iranian authorities as an affront to Islam.
Another conservative media outlet, the Eghtesad Salem portal, believes that the attack on Rushdie, which occurred more than 30 years after the ‘fatwa’, sends a message to the United States and its government officials, “that they should fear”, regardless the time that “Iran’s revenge” passes after the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US attack in Iraq in January 2020.
Media such as the reformist Etemad have limited themselves to reporting the stabbing against Rushdie without offering opinions on it.
So far, the only Iranian official who has spoken out in this regard has been the adviser to the team of negotiators on the Iranian nuclear agreement, Mohamed Marandi, who has declared his indifference to Rushdie’s health.
“I’m not going to cry for a writer who spits out endless hatred and contempt for Muslims and Islam”, he made it known on his Twitter account in which he has come to wonder about a possible link between the attack and the proximity of an agreement with Iran at the Vienna nuclear talks.
In recent years, some of the more moderate Iranian authorities have been disassociating themselves from Khomeini’s ‘fatwa’, but the country’s clerical establishment has never managed to free the writer from danger.
In 1998, the government of Iran’s then-reformist president, Mohamed Khatami, assured Britain that Iran would not implement the edict, but Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared in 2005 that the writer remains an apostate whose killing is authorized by Islam.