Salman Rushdie: From Khomeini's 1989 Fatwa to The New York Stabbing

Published August 14th, 2022 - 08:23 GMT

Indian-British novelist Salman Rushdie was stabbed at the Chautauqua Institution in New York City on Friday morning before giving a lecture. His stabbing attack was denounced by writers across the globe and world leaders like US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Rushdie's stabber was arrested at the scene and identified as Lebanese-American Hadi Matar. The motivations behind the attack are still unknown but people suggest its due to the writer's controversial novel 'The Satanic Verses'.

This novel was released in 1988 and stirred debate worldwide as Iran's leader Ayatollah  Ruhollah Khomeini issued a Fatwa calling for his death along with much protests across Tehran where demonstrators held banners that read 'Kill Salman Rushdie'.

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Salman Rushdie

British novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie poses during a photo session in Paris on September 10 , 2018. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

This picture shows the front page of the Iranian newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz, with the title reading in Farsi: "Knife in the neck of Salman Rushdie", in the capital Tehran on August 13, 2022, a day after a man stabbed British author Salman Rushdie, the target of a 1989 Iranian fatwa calling for his death, during a literary event in New York state. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

In this file photo taken on February 26, 1989, Pro-Iranian Hezbollah fundamentalists burn an effigie of British writer Salman Rushdie who they are accusing of blasphemy for his "Satanic Verses" book that urged Iran Imam Khomeiny to determine his execution in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by NABIL ISMAIL / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

In this file photo taken on February 17, 1989, Iranian women are seen holding banners which read "Holly Koran" and "Kill Salman Rushdie" during a demonstration against British writer Salman Rushdie in Tehran. (Photo by NORBERT SCHILLER / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

British author Salman Rushdie poses with his book 'Quichotte' during the photo call for the authors shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction at Southbank Centre in London on October 13, 2019. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

A general view shows UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, on August 13, 2022, where Indian-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie is being treated. Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye following a stabbing attack at a literary event in New York state on August 12, 2022. (Photo by Jorge Uzon / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

British writer Salman Rushdie (R) signs his book to french journalist and TV host Bernard Pivot (L) before the TV show "Bouillon de Culture", on channel Antenne 2, on February 16, 1996, in Paris. AFP PHOTO JOEL ROBINE (Photo by JOEL ROBINE / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

Iranian women protestors holding banners and signs condemning Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses" and the USA , march through the streets of Tehran on February 17, 1989. Ayatollah Khomeini has offered at least one million US dollars to anyone who kills Salman Rushdie. (Photo by NORBERT SCHILLER / AFP)

Salman Rushdie

Drawings depicting British author Salman Rushdie are all over the Tehran morning press 14 February 2000, one day after Iran's state organization for Islamic propaganda said that the fatwa issued in 1989 by the late Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against the author of The Satanic Verses was still in force and that Muslims must help carry it out. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo by HENGHAMEH FAHIMI / AFP)

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Salman Rushdie
British novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie poses during a photo session in Paris on September 10 , 2018. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
This picture shows the front page of the Iranian newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz, with the title reading in Farsi: "Knife in the neck of Salman Rushdie", in the capital Tehran on August 13, 2022, a day after a man stabbed British author Salman Rushdie, the target of a 1989 Iranian fatwa calling for his death, during a literary event in New York state. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
In this file photo taken on February 26, 1989, Pro-Iranian Hezbollah fundamentalists burn an effigie of British writer Salman Rushdie who they are accusing of blasphemy for his "Satanic Verses" book that urged Iran Imam Khomeiny to determine his execution in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by NABIL ISMAIL / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
In this file photo taken on February 17, 1989, Iranian women are seen holding banners which read "Holly Koran" and "Kill Salman Rushdie" during a demonstration against British writer Salman Rushdie in Tehran. (Photo by NORBERT SCHILLER / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
British author Salman Rushdie poses with his book 'Quichotte' during the photo call for the authors shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction at Southbank Centre in London on October 13, 2019. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
A general view shows UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, on August 13, 2022, where Indian-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie is being treated. Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye following a stabbing attack at a literary event in New York state on August 12, 2022. (Photo by Jorge Uzon / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
British writer Salman Rushdie (R) signs his book to french journalist and TV host Bernard Pivot (L) before the TV show "Bouillon de Culture", on channel Antenne 2, on February 16, 1996, in Paris. AFP PHOTO JOEL ROBINE (Photo by JOEL ROBINE / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
Iranian women protestors holding banners and signs condemning Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses" and the USA , march through the streets of Tehran on February 17, 1989. Ayatollah Khomeini has offered at least one million US dollars to anyone who kills Salman Rushdie. (Photo by NORBERT SCHILLER / AFP)
Salman Rushdie
Drawings depicting British author Salman Rushdie are all over the Tehran morning press 14 February 2000, one day after Iran's state organization for Islamic propaganda said that the fatwa issued in 1989 by the late Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against the author of The Satanic Verses was still in force and that Muslims must help carry it out. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo by HENGHAMEH FAHIMI / AFP)