Ghe man who attacked writer Salman Rushdie in public is being investigated for attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. This was announced by the State Police of the State of New York on Saturday. According to the police, the 24-year-old alleged perpetrator is in custody without the possibility of being released on bail. There was no further information on a motive for the crime. Second-degree murder is a separate offense in the US legal system for the death of a human being. He can be sentenced to years in prison in New York State.
It has been more than 30 years since writer Salman Rushdie was sentenced to death by fatwa. The reason was his work “The Satanic Verses” from 1988. Some Muslims felt their religious sensibilities were offended by the scriptures. On Friday, an attacker attacked Rushdie with a knife during a performance on an open stage.
“The responsibility for this terrible bloody deed is shared by those who have persecuted Salman Rushdie for decades and threatened him with death,” said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser of “Bild am Sonntag”. “Salman Rushdie is a great, brave fighter for freedom of speech and freedom of art. He was never intimidated. Assassination attempt on him is a terrible crime.”
The American government was appalled by the attack in New York State. The United States and the world have witnessed a “reprehensible attack,” said President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “This act of violence is appalling.”
The entire US government is praying for a speedy recovery for the 75-year-old, Sullivan said. He also thanked the citizens and responders who “helped Rushdie so quickly after the attack.”
After surgery, Rushdie was put on a ventilator
After a knife attack, Rushdie, 75, underwent surgery at a hospital and was put on a ventilator. His agent Andrew Wylie said he could not speak and would likely lose an eye. Nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was damaged. “The news is not good.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres wished Rushdie a speedy recovery. “In no case is violence a response to words spoken or written by others in the exercise of their freedom of opinion and expression,” said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
US Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described the attack on Twitter as an “attack on freedom of speech and thought, which are two core values of our country and the Chautauqua Institution.” That’s where the attack happened. He hopes that Rushdie will recover quickly and fully and that the perpetrator will be held accountable.
France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack: “Hate and barbarism have struck cowardly.” Rushdie has embodied freedom for 33 years. “His fight is our fight.”
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled” that Rushdie was attacked while “exercising a right that we should never stop defending”. Harry Potter author Joanne K. Rowling and best-selling author Stephen King also expressed their dismay and wrote that they hoped Rushdie was doing well.
Wallraff offered Rushdie a hiding place
Günter Wallraff was also shocked by the attack. “The news was of course a blow for me,” said the author and investigative journalist on Friday evening at the German Press Agency in Cologne. “Now I just hope the injury isn’t life threatening.”
Wallraff hid Rushdie in his house in Cologne in 1993. “Back then there was round-the-clock security, armored cars were parked in front of the door.” In recent years, however, Rushdie has refused personal protection. “We met at an event in Denmark a few years ago. A lot of attention was paid to his protection, which he had not asked for at all. He wanted to live a normal life.”
“Don’t worry, you’re next”
British Harry Potter author Joanne K. Rowling has been threatened online: Rowling expressed her horror at the violence on Twitter on Friday and wrote about Rushdie: “I hope he’s okay.” Another user replied: “None Don’t worry you are next.
On Saturday, Rowling first reached out to Twitter itself for support. Later, the 57-year-old thanked her followers for encouragement and support and wrote that the police were involved – and also because of other threats.
Rowling is no longer uncontroversial due to statements about the position and rights of trans women in society. Many accuse her of transphobia, which she herself denies.
“Fruit of Hatred”
Green co-chairman Omid Nouripour condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms. The attack was an “attack on the freedom of speech,” Nouripour wrote on Twitter on Friday evening. She was “the ugly fruit of a hatred that has been fomented and funded by the Iranian regime for decades. She too is responsible for this outrage.” Nouripour wrote that he is praying for Rushdie’s speedy recovery.
Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth spoke of an attack on the freedom of literature and thought. “I sincerely hope that he survives this vile attack,” said the Green politician. It is perfectly clear: “Blood will still be on the hands, not only of the assassin, but also and especially of those of the Iranian regime, which to this day adheres to the terrible fatwa against him.”