Anger at The Satanic Verses understandable, but…: ex-Pak PM Imran Khan on Salman Rushdie’s attack

  • The anger I understood, but you can’t justify what happened, Imran Khan said

Livemint
Updated19 Aug 2022
About 10 years ago, Imran Khan pulled out of an event in India as Salman Rushdie was also invited to it.
About 10 years ago, Imran Khan pulled out of an event in India as Salman Rushdie was also invited to it.(REUTERS)

Days after celebrated author Salman Rushdie was attacked at an event in New York, Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan expressed the incident to be “terrible” and “sad”. Further acknowledging that “the anger of the Islamic world at Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses was understandable” but it could not justify the assault.

Apparently, about 10 years ago, Khan pulled out of an event in India as Rushdie was also invited to it. Khan had stated that he could not think of participating in an event that included Rushdie, who has caused "immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe". However, Khan clearly expressed that he does not support the violent action against the Indian-born author. 

Regarding Rushdie's knife attack in New York state, Khan told Guardian,“I think it’s terrible, sad"

“Rushdie understood, because he came from a Muslim family. He knows the love, respect, reverence of a prophet that lives in our hearts. He knew that,” Khan said. “So the anger I understood, but you can’t justify what happened.”

Rushdie, 75, was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident identified as Hadi Matar, a US national of Lebanese origin, on stage last week while he was being introduced at a literary event of the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York.

He suffered three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on his right thigh, Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said during the suspect's arraignment.

Meanwhile, Hadi Matar, the man accused of stabbing renowned author Salman Rushdie on stage in New York state last week, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault. Matar, 24, made the plea in a courtroom in Chautauqua County, New York, CNN reported. This comes after prosecutors said a grand jury had indicted him this week.

Following the release of Rushdie's fourth book The Satanic Verses in 1988, the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini accused him of blasphemy and in 1989 issued a fatwa against him, calling for his death.

Rushdie’s writing has led to death threats from Iran, which has offered a USD 3 million reward for anyone who kills him.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

 

 

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