“I Don’t Like Him”: Salman Rushdie’s Alleged Attacker Claims He’s Only Read Two Pages Of Satanic Verses

Salman Rushdie’s alleged assailant has claimed he has only ever read two pages of the author’s novel The Satanic Verses.

Hadi Matar has been charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault, after the incident a week ago, when the Booker prize-winning author was stabbed on stage at a conference where he was about to talk about free speech. Matar has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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The Iran-supporting extremist is being held in jail, from where he gave an interview to The New York Post, in which:

  • He said he had only read two pages of The Satanic Verses, Rushdie’s 1988 novel that caused Iran’s then leader to declare a fatwa against him.

  • Matar did not confirm his alleged actions were driven by the fatwa, saying only that he respected the Ayatollah – “he’s a great person” – and that Rushdie was “someone who attacked Islam.”

  • He said he was surprised that Rushdie had survived the attack.

The Post reported Matar saying of Rushdie: “I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person. I don’t like him very much. He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”

Rushdie remains in hospital following last week’s attack, when he suffered a damaged liver as well as severed nerves in an arm and eye injuries. His family has reported that he has been taken off a ventilator and is in good spirits.

Henry Reese, the conference moderator on stage with him at the time of the attack and who sustained injuries himself, has spoken out about the shocking incident.


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