Reaction to attack on writer Salman Rushdie

If Rushdie is attacked, “anyone who is criticial of Islam can be attacked”, says Taslima Nasrin

Randi LoveReuters
Published : 12 August 2022, 05:13 PM
Updated : 12 August 2022, 05:13 PM

Following are reactions to the attack on novelist Salman Rushdie Friday. Witnesses and police said Rushdie, who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was stabbed by a man who rushed to the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state before a talk.

SUZANNE NOSSEL, CEO OF FREE EXPRESSION ORGANIZATION PEN AMERICA:

"We can think of no comparable incident of a public attack on a literary writer on American soil. Just hours before the attack, on Friday morning, Salman had emailed me to help with placements for Ukrainian writers in need of safe refuge from the grave perils they face. Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered. He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced. While we do not know the origins or motives of this attack, all those around the world who have met words with violence or called for the same are culpable for legitimising this assault on a writer while he was engaged in his essential work of connecting to readers. Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery.”

NORWEGIAN PUBLISHER WILLIAM NYGAARD, WHO WAS SHOT AND SEVERELY WOUNDED IN 1993 AFTER PUBLISHING RUSHDIE'S WORK:

"Rushdie has paid a high price. He is a leading author who has meant so much to literature, and he had found a good life in the United States."

UK HOME SECRETARY PRITI PATEL:

"Shocked and appalled to hear of the unprovoked and senseless attack on Sir Salman Rushdie. Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine it must not be tolerated. My thoughts are with Sir Salman and his family."

UK PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON:

"Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay."

AUTHOR TASLIMA NASREEN, WHO FLED HER NATIVE BANGLADESH AFTER A COURT SAID SHE HAD HURT MUSLIMS' RELIGIOUS FEELING WITH HER NOVEL 'LAJJA' ('SHAME'):

"I just learnt that Salman Rushdie was attacked in New York. I am really shocked. I never thought it would happen. He has been living in the West, and he has been protected since 1989. If he is attacked, anyone who is critical of Islam can be attacked. I am worried."

US SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER OF NEW YORK

"This attack is shocking and appalling. It is an attack on freedom of speech and thought, which are two bedrock values of our country and of the Chautauqua Institution.”

“I hope Mr Rushdie quickly and fully recovers and the perpetrator experiences full accountability and justice.”

AUTHOR AMITAV GHOSH:

"Horrified to learn that Salman Rushdie has been attacked at a speaking event in upstate New York. Wish him a speedy recovery."

NEW YORK GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL:

“Our thoughts are with Salman & his loved ones following this horrific event.”

BRITISH CULTURE MINISTER NADINE DORRIES:

"Horrifying. An awful attack on a literary giant and one of the great defenders of freedom of expression. Thoughts with @SalmanRushdie and his loved ones."

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher