Salman Rushdie’s attacker hailed by conservative press in Iran

In the very conservative Quranic theocracy of Iran, Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” earned its author a 30-year-old fatwa. So when the British writer was stabbed in the United States on Friday, the atmosphere was not one of condemnation in the mainstream media. “Congratulations to this courageous and conscious man who attacked the apostate and the vicious Salman Rushdie”, writes the main Iranian ultra-conservative daily, Kayhan, whose boss is appointed by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Let us kiss the hand of him who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife”, continues the text. Salman Rushdie was attacked in the neck and abdomen while standing on the stage of an amphitheater at a cultural center in Chautauqua, in upstate New York. According to his agent, he was placed on life support and could lose an eye.

“Devil’s neck struck by a razor”

The Iranian authorities have so far not officially commented on the assassination attempt on the 75-year-old intellectual. Following the official line, all Iranian media have labeled Salman Rushdie an “apostate”, with the exception of Etemad, a reformist newspaper. The daily Iran, a state-run newspaper, estimated that “the neck of the devil” had been “struck by a razor”.

“I will not shed tears for a writer who denounces with infinite hatred and contempt Muslims and Islam,” wrote in a tweet Mohammad Marandi, adviser to the team of negotiators on the nuclear file. “Rushdie is an empire pawn posing as a postcolonial novelist,” he added.

“Isn’t it strange that, as we approach a potential nuclear deal, the United States is claiming that an attack on Bolton (former White House national security adviser) was planned…and let it happen next, ”he wonders.

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