Writers, world leaders appalled by attack on Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie. File photo: AFP

Eminent personalities across the world expressed outrage at the stabbing of Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, who had been facing death threats from radical Islamists for years.

'The Satanic Verses' writer was stabbed in the neck and torso on Friday at an event in New York by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident Hadi Matar.

Rushdie, who had undergone surgery and is now on a ventilator. He was on the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, a not-for-profit community when the incident occurred.

Writers, politicians, fans and more have been reacting to the incident with both fear and hope, and here are a few of the reactions:

Writer-politician Shashi Tharoor said that he is utterly horrified and shocked by the incident and wished the Booker prize winner a speedy recovery.

Writer Stephen King, who made multiple tweets about the incident, went on to say that he wishes Rushdie is ok.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Rushdie was exercising a right we should never cease to defend, alongside saying that his thoughts are with Rushdie's loved ones.

Condemning the attack, writer Javed Akhtar hoped the New York police and the authorities will take stern action against the culprit.

Shocked Bangladesi author Taslima Nasreen, who has also faced similar threats from fundamentalists, also made multiple tweets on the incident and said she never thought this would happen as Rushdie had been living in the West.

Many expressed concern over the writer being targeted for his words, for decades.

Suzzane Nossel, CEO of 'free expression organisation Pen America, said in their website that just hours before the attack, the writer had mailed her for help with placements for Ukrainian writers in need of safe refuge. She said, “Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered.”

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