Salman Rushdie Attacker: ‘I Only Read Two Pages of His Book'

Published August 18th, 2022 - 06:46 GMT
Salman Rushdie Attacker: ‘I’m Surprised He Survived’
(Photograph: Charles Fox/AP via Twitter: @WalidPhares)

Less than a week since the stabbing attack against Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie, New York Post has scored an exclusive interview with the in-custody attacker, 24-years-old Lebanese-American Hadi Matar.

Hadi Matar is believed to be a devout Shitte Muslim whose decision to stab the writer in an attempt to kill him was motivated by the 1989 fatwa (Islamic religious decree) issued by the former Supreme Leader of Iran Ruhollah Khomeini, who had called on Muslims to target Salman Rushdie and anyone who supports or helps him, following the publishing of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, which was considered "offensive to Islam".

Last Friday, New Jersey-born Hadi Matar attended a lecture hosting Salman Rushdie in New York and attacked him with a knife while on the stage, before he was arrested. 

During his interview with the New York Post, Hadi Matar expressed his 'surprise' over the news that Salman Rushdie has survived despite being stabbed 15 times in critical spots, including his neck.

According to medical resources, Salman Rushdie is in a stable condition after being put off the ventilator. The 75-years old writer still faces the risk of damaged liver and losing an eye and arm due to injuries.

Matar told the New York Post that he only read two pages of the controversial book, explaining that he respects the ayatollah. "I think he’s a great person", he added. 

Salman Rushdie

Source: Twitter

Moreover, the accused Hadi Matar who hails from an immigrant Lebanese family denied any links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, stressing that he "acted completely alone" against Salman Rushdie, saying the writer" attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems".

Following the Friday attack, Hadi Matar's mother who lives in the United States disowned him and blamed his act and changed behavior on a 2018 trip he took to Lebanon to visit his father, after which "he became more religious and isolated than ever".

According to sources, Hadi Matar had a fake drivers' license with the pseudonym Hassan Mughniyah, which may be referring in part to Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah, and to the organization's former second top leader Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bomb in Syrian capital Damascus in 2008.

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