For the first time after the “colossal attack “on him by 24-year-old man Hadi Matarin in August 2022, author Salman Rushdie spoke to ‘The New Yorker’ on February 6, 2023. He said that he felt lucky to have survived the last year’s brutal stabbing at a literary event in the US.
“I am lucky. What I want to say is that my main overwhelming feeling is gratitude. I am able to get up and walk around. When I say I am fine, I mean, there are bits of my body that need constant check-ups,” he said.
“I have found it very difficult to write. I sit down to write, but nothing happens. I write, but it is a combination of blankness and junk, stuff that I write and that I delete the next day. I am not out of that forest yet, really,” he added.
Notably, Rushdie was attacked on stage ahead of a speech in August 2022. Subsequently, he was hospitalised for six weeks in hospital and further lost vision in one eye. After his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ in 1988, Salman has long faced death threats.
However, here it is important to mention the dateline of the incidents, which forced Salman to hide.
In 1988, he wrote a book ‘The Satanic Verses’, published in 1988, which drew the wrath of Iran’s Supreme Leader. In this background, on February 12, 1989, a protest broke out in Islamabad, Pakistan. In this violent protest, at least six people were killed.
On February 14, 1989, the Fatwa was issued by Iran’s Khomeini calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie. Later, twelve people were killed in Mumbai as 10,000 violent Muslim Mob marched towards the British High Commission. September 14, four bombs were planted outside bookshops in Britain owned by Penguin, publisher of The Satanic Verses. Since then, Rushdie was forced into hiding for nearly a decade.
It didn’t end here. In 1991, two translators of the book were attacked.
On July 3, 1991, Ettore Capriolo, Italian translator of The Satanic Verses, was beaten and attacked with a knife by a man who said he was Iranian. On July 12, 1991, Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi was stabbed to death in Tokyo.
On September 7, 1995, Rushdie appeared in public in London for the first time since the issuance of the fatwa. In February 1997, the Iranian revolutionary 15th Khordad Foundation increased the bounty on Rushdie’s head to $US2.5 million ($3.5 million).