Author on the mend: Son on Rushdie: ‘Rebellious sense of humor remains intact’

Author on the mend
Son on Rushdie: ‘Rebellious sense of humor remains intact’

The ‘road to recovery’ has begun for Salman Rushdie. After the assassination, the author’s family is relieved that his condition has improved. His sense of humor is also intact, says the son. But the extensive medical treatment continues.

According to his family and his agent, the writer is on the mend after the knife attack on Salman Rushdie in the United States. A long “path to recovery” has begun for the 75-year-old, his agent Andrew Wylie said in a statement to the Washington Post. “The injuries are serious but his condition is progressing in the right direction,” said Wylie. But recovery will be a lengthy process.

Rushdie’s family said they were “extremely relieved” that the 75-year-old was no longer dependent on a ventilator since Saturday. The writer was able to “say a few words”. “Though his life-changing injuries are serious, his usual outspoken and defiant sense of humor remains intact,” his son Zafar Rushdie tweeted. His father’s condition remains critical and he is undergoing extensive medical treatment.

British-Indian writer Rushdie was attacked with a knife at a reading in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday night. The 24-year-old attacker stabbed Rushdie at least 10 times. Immediately after the fact, Rushdie’s agent stated that the writer had been seriously injured. Nerves were severed and the liver damaged by a stab. The writer might lose an eye. Rushdie was flown by helicopter to a clinic in Erie, Pennsylvania, for emergency surgery. Then on Saturday, Wylie announced that Rushdie had started speaking again.

Attacker pleads not guilty

The attacker, identified by police as Hadi Matar, appeared for a court hearing in Chautauqua on Saturday. Through his lawyer, he pleaded not guilty to the charge of “attempted murder” against him. It therefore remained unclear whether the 24-year-old acted as a result of the fatwa issued by Iran against the writer more than 30 years ago.

Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for the writer to be killed because of alleged insults to the Prophet Mohammed in Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses”. For years, Rushdie lived under tight police protection in ever-changing secret locations. For some time now, however, the writer has led a relatively normal life again and appeared in public.

The attack caused great horror in the western world. US President Joe Biden condemned the “cowardly attack” and praised Rushdie for his “refusal to be intimidated or silenced”. Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke of a “disgusting act” and praised Rushdie’s fearless commitment to freedom of expression.

The publicist Günter Wallraff, who claims to have taken Rushdie in because of the fatwa in 1993, condemned the attack as an attempt to intimidate enlighteners and critics of Islam. It was “disgusting” that the Iranian state media celebrated the alleged assassin frenetically, he told the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. The ultra-conservative Iranian newspaper Kayhan praised the attacker as a “brave man” who “ripped open the neck of the vicious” Rushdie with a knife. Other media in Iran made similar statements.

source site-34