Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, 75, renowned author and winner of Booker Prize in 1981, was attacked by Hadi Matar, 24, in an educational center in western New York. The Chautauqua Institution audience witnessed a horror show on Friday, August 12, 2022, around 11AM, when a Muslim, IRGC and Hezbollah sympathizer, went to the stage and stabbed Rushdie, at least twice injuring his brachial nerves and causing him to be on ventilator Friday night.
The world reacted to the attack, not only because the novelist is famous, but because a 34-year murder shadow was hanging over his head. After writing his fourth novel, “Satanic Verses” which was considered “controversial”, Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, made it clear in February 14, 1989 that the author and his publishers “must be executed!” In his fatwa, he calls on all Muslims to find “these people” and “kill them at once,” and if the Muslim is killed in this path, he will be considered a martyr. According to Islamic laws, anybody who insults a prophet, is put to death.
Rushdie survived multiple assassination attempts in his life. In August 1989, Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh, in a failed bombing tried to murder Rushdie. The Islamic Republic has built a shrine for him in Kia Pey cemetery, etched on with “Martyred in London, 3 August 1989. The first martyr to die on a mission to kill Salman Rushdie.” In other incidents to follow Khomeini’s killing order, Rushdie’s Italian translator Ettore Capriolo was stabbed multiple times on July 3, 1991 in Milan at his home but survived. Ten days later, Hitoshi Igarashi, his Japanese translator, was stabbed to death. William Nygaard, the Norwegian publisher of Satanic Verses, was shot 3 times on 11 October 1993 in Oslo but survived. The list of terrorist attacks against Rushdie is long.
After the most recent attack, reactions have ranged from hating Islam, to hailing Matar, from hiding the truth to pretending it had no connection to the infamous fatwa. While the Islamic Republic apologists tried to hide the fact in western media that Khamenei and his representatives in different institutions, even IRGC media and other regime foundations have raised the bounty for Salman Rushdie to more than $4million as recent as 7 years ago, the regime officials hail the terrorist attack.
Regime apologists such as the notorious Trita Parsi began a false narrative claiming the Islamic Republic “backed off” from killing Salman Rushdie, quoting then Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi in 1998, when the diplomatic relations between the regime and Britain was sour: “The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention, nor is it going to take any action whatsoever to threaten the life of the author of The Satanic Verses’ or anybody associated with his work, nor will it encourage or assist anybody to do so!”
First of all, that statement was at a boiling point in diplomatic relations between UK and the Islamic Republic. As they have later said, it was in “system’s best interest.” After Khatami and Kharrazi’s claims, the Islamic Republic media rebuked them. Bultan News, an IRGC outlet, blamed the “reformists” such as Khatami and Kharrazi for “giving hope to the West and infidels” about Salman Rushdie but at the same time praised Khomeini and Khamenei for their foresight and enlightenment: “Imam Khomeini was right,” referring to Khomeini’s statement: “I’m afraid that 10 years from now, today’s experts pass judgement, questioning whether this fatwa was based on diplomatic expediency or not!”
Other officials, including Khamenei and his representatives across the country reaffirmed the murder as a “must happen!” Even official news agency of the government published Kharrazi’s denial. First, in 1991 and again in 1998 when he was visiting India and criticized its government for approving Rushdie’s visa!
Ali Khamenei, the “Supreme Leader” of the regime, has repeatedly reaffirmed his predecessor’s fatwa, calling it “solid and irrevocable!” In 1993, he called killing of Salman Rushdie as “duty of every Muslim who has access to this harmful creature. Some say fatwa could be changed, but that is nonsense (Khoemeini had died at this time). Nobody can make a deal about this. Britain doesn’t like it!? Well, we don’t like many actions of the Britain’s government, either.” In 1994, Khamenei called out Bill Clinton for meeting with the author: “Dear Muslim brothers around the world, today, enemies have revolted against Islam, two infidels meeting each other is not a big deal, but its political message is clear.” In 2019, he insisted on his position and tweeted about it:
While the apologists have been trying to distance the regime from Matar, the Islamic Republic officials and media have been hailing him and spewing hate against Salman Rushdie. Khamenei’s Kayhan ran this headline on its front page: “Salman Rushdie Caught in Divine Revenge, Trump and Pompeo, Next!” Jaam-e-Jam, IRIB’s daily newspaper, published Rushdie in fire and titled it: “Satan’s Eye Blinded!” IRGC’s daily newspaper, Javan, called it “Invisible Arrow!”
Khamenei’s representatives and Friday Sermons followed the same line, praising the assailant, doubling down on Khomeini’s fatwa. They considered it as a “victory” for the Islamic Republic, a “defeat” for the infidels and a warning to Trump, Pompeo and Masih Alinejad! The former Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic, and a “reformist”, had said: “Killing Salman Rushdie has no conflict with freedom of speech.” This is what Salman Rushdie thinks of freedom of speech:
With Salman Rushdie waking up and making jokes, laughing, and the terrorist appearing in court pleading “not guilty”, terrorism lost and peace prevailed once again.