In response to Indian-born author Salman Rushdie being stabbed before giving a speech in New York, Iranian state media on Friday denounced Rushdie, labeling him a “apostate” and his writings “blasphemous,” Fox News informed.
Rushdie spent more than 30 years under a fatwa calling for his murder issued by the Iranian ayatollah in reaction to his novel “The Satanic Verses.” Rushdie was stabbed in the neck by an assailant before giving a speech at the Chautauqua Institution on Friday.
Rushdie was dubbed a “apostate author” by the Islamic Republic News Agency, which said he had been “attacked by knife.”
The “Satanic Verses” was also referred to be a “blasphemous fiction about Islam.”
Another media agency controlled by the regime, FARS News, referred to him as a “apostate” and charged that the “anti-religious content” of the book “insulted the Prophet of Islam (PBUH).”
When “The Satanic Verses” was released in 1988, Muslims violently protested the book because they believed it to be blasphemous.
Shortly after, in 1989, the fatwa was announced.
Rushdie has been a vocal opponent of religious fundamentalism and a symbol of freedom of expression, but he needs constant protection.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted in 2019 that the fatwa “is founded on divine passages, and just like divine verses, it is solid and irrevocable,” demonstrating the Iranian government’s support for the ruling.
Dissidents in Iran blamed the attack on the Tehran government, particularly its leaders.
Days prior to the incident, the Justice Department announced charges against a member of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps for allegedly conspiring to assassinate former national security adviser John Bolton.
The scheme is thought to be vengeance for the airstrike-assassinated death of IRGC Quds Forces Leader Qassem Soleimani in 2020.