World Leaders Condemn ‘Cowardly’ Attack On Salman Rushdie

| Updated: 13 August, 2022 3:02 pm IST
Salman Rushdie


BENGALURU: The stabbing of prominent writer Salman Rushdie by a fanatic in New York on Friday has come as a rude shock for people across the world, drawing condemnation and public outcry.

The 75-year-old Booker Prize laureate is currently on a ventilator battling for his life as he has copped severe nerve damage. The stab wound has damaged his liver and he may lose an eye, Rushdie’s book agent Andrew Wylie told the media.

He was stabbed in neck on stage when he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution.

Rushdie has been the target of ire of a section of Muslim fanatics ever since he wrote the book ‘The Satanic Verses’ in the 1980s.

A host of world leaders has expressed shock and dismay at the attack, and hailed him as the “champion of free speech”.

Reacting to news of the attack, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.”

“For 33 years, Salman Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism. He has just been the victim of a cowardly attack by the forces of hatred and barbarism. His fight is our fight; it is universal. Now more than ever, we stand by his side,” wrote French President Emmanuel Macron.

Rishi Sunak, UK MP who is for prime minister, said, “Shocked to hear of the attack on Salman Rushdie in New York. A champion of free speech and artistic freedom. He’s in our thoughts tonight.”

Former UK PM Tony Blair condemned the attack as “horrible and utterly unjustified”.

Taking to Twitter, US Senator Chuck Schumer said, “This attack is shocking and appalling. It is an attack on freedom of speech and thought, which are two bedrock values of our country and of the Chautauqua Institution. I hope Rushdie quickly and fully recovers and the perpetrator experiences full accountability and justice.”

Indian Member of Parliament, Shashi Tharoor, also expressed his grief and wished Rushdie a speedy recovery.

“Utterly horrified and shocked by the stabbing of Salman Rushdie. Wish him a speedy and complete recovery from his wounds, even though, with a sinking heart, I recognize that life for him can never be the same again. A sad day, worse if creative expression can no longer be free and open,” he tweeted.

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