Blended reactions to creator Salman Rushdie’s assault got here out of the Center East as he fought for his life on a ventilator in New York.
An official from Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah mentioned on Saturday it had no extra data on the stabbing.
“We don’t know something about this topic, so we won’t remark,” the official advised the Reuters information company on situation of anonymity.
Hezbollah is supported by Iran, whose earlier supreme chief, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, pronounced a spiritual decree in 1988 calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie for blasphemy over his ebook The Satanic Verses.
He had a bounty on his head providing greater than $3m to anybody who killed him.
The suspected attacker was recognized by police as Hadi Matar, 24, from New Jersey. He was charged on Saturday with tried homicide and assault.
Matar and his household hails from the south Lebanon city of Yaroun, mentioned its Mayor Ali Tehfe. Tehfe mentioned Matar’s mother and father emigrated to the USA and Matar was born and raised there.
When requested if Matar or his mother and father have been affiliated with or supported Hezbollah, Tehfe mentioned he had “no data in any respect” on the political opinions of the mother and father or Matar as they lived overseas.
‘Completely satisfied to listen to’
A bloodied Rushdie, 75, was flown to a hospital and underwent surgical procedure late Friday. His agent, Andrew Wylie, mentioned the author was on a ventilator with a broken liver, severed nerves in his arm, and an eye fixed he was prone to lose.
Iran’s authorities has not formally commented on the assault.
However in Iran’s capital, some prepared to talk to The Related Press provided reward for the assault focusing on a author they consider tarnished the Islamic religion along with his 1988 ebook. Within the streets of Tehran, photos of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini nonetheless peer down at passers-by.
“I don’t know Salman Rushdie however I’m completely satisfied to listen to that he was attacked since he insulted Islam,” mentioned Reza Amiri, a 27-year-old deliveryman. “That is the destiny for anyone who insults sanctities.”
Mohammad Mahdi Movaghar, a 34-year-old Tehran resident, described having a “good feeling” after seeing Rushdie attacked.
“That is pleasing and exhibits those that insult the sacred issues of we Muslims, along with punishment within the hereafter, will get punished on this world too by the hands of individuals,” he mentioned.
Others, nevertheless, fearful that Iran might turn into much more minimize off from the world as tensions stay excessive over its tattered 2015 nuclear deal.
“I really feel those that did it try to isolate Iran,” mentioned Mahshid Barati, a 39-year-old geography instructor. “It will negatively have an effect on relations with many – even Russia and China.”
Since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the nuclear accord in 2018, Tehran has seen its foreign money plummet and its financial system crater. In the meantime, Iran has enriched uranium nearer than ever to weapons-grade ranges.
“It [the attack] will make Iran extra remoted,” warned former Iranian diplomat Mashallah Sefatzadeh.
‘A thousand bravos’
A number of Iranian newspapers poured reward on Saturday on the one who attacked and severely wounded Rushdie.
The hardline Kayhan newspaper, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by Iran’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wrote, “A thousand bravos … to the courageous and dutiful one who attacked the apostate and evil Salman Rushdie in New York. The hand of the person who tore the neck of God’s enemy have to be kissed.”
Khomeini issued the decree on Rushdie in 1989. It got here amid a violent uproar within the Muslim world over his novel, which some seen as blasphemously making ideas concerning the Prophet Muhammad’s life.
Whereas such edicts will be revised or revoked, Iran’s present supreme chief, who took over after Khomeini died, has by no means finished so.
Early on Saturday, Iranian state media made a degree to notice one man recognized as being killed whereas making an attempt to hold out the decree. Lebanese nationwide Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh died when a ebook bomb he had prematurely exploded in a London lodge on August 3, 1989, simply greater than 33 years in the past.
At newsstands on Saturday, front-page headlines provided their very own takes on the assault. The hardline Vatan-e Emrouz’s principal story lined what it described as, “A knife within the neck of Salman Rushdie.” The reformist newspaper Etemad’s headline requested: “Salman Rushdie in neighbourhood of demise?”
‘Incitement to violence’
Some US-based activist teams denounced the decades-old spiritual decree, blaming it for the assault on Rushdie.
“Whether or not right now’s assassination try was ordered instantly by Tehran or not, it’s virtually actually the results of 30 years of the regime’s incitement to violence in opposition to this celebrated creator,” mentioned the Washington-based Nationwide Union for Democracy in Iran.
The Nationwide Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group outlawed in Iran, mentioned the assault had taken place on the “instigation” of Khomeini’s decree.
“Ali Khamenei and different leaders of the clerical regime had at all times vowed to implement this anti-Islamic fatwa [decree] prior to now 34 years,” it mentioned in a press release.
In an interview carried out simply weeks earlier than he was stabbed and severely wounded, Rushdie mentioned his life was now “comparatively regular” after having lived in hiding for years due to demise threats. The journal interview was to look on August 18, however the German journal, Stern, launched it on Saturday.
Rushdie, who turned a US citizen in 2016 and lives in New York Metropolis, mentioned he was fearful about threats to democracy within the US.