Thursday, October 6

Hadi Matar charged with attempted murder of Salman Rushdie


The writer is in very serious condition, connected to a ventilator to breathe. According to some media, he would have received seven or eight stabs.

Hadi Matar, guarded by the police in Mayville (New York).Gene J PuskarAP
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The American Hadhi Matar24, the son of Lebanese immigrants, has been formally charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of writer Salman Rushdie. The United States authorities maintain a strict silence about Matar, although his ‘trace’ on social networks shows him as a muslim extremist and sympathizer of the Guardians of the Revolution of Iran, the elite military force of that country, much more ideological and aligned with Islamic fundamentalism than the Iranian Armed Forces.

That is the information transmitted by the media of that country. The police authorities of the state of New York, in which the attack took place, have not established the possible motivation for the action and insist that the investigation is ongoing. The Islamic Republic of Iran offers a reward of three million dollars (2.9 million euros) for whoever assassinates Rushdie due to his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’, published 33 years ago, and that the then leader of that country, Ayatollah Ruhol Khomeini, described as ” blasphemous.”

At the moment there is no official information that establishes a link between the savage attack on Rushdie and Khomeini’s death sentence, which is still fully in force and whose reward was raised by 600,000 dollars (5858,000 euros) six years ago. But Matar’s sympathies for the Revolutionary Guards and for radical gossip – which is Iran’s version of Islam – point to a possible religious motivation.

The assassination attempt on Rushdie has come just one day after the United States Justice prosecuted a member of the Guardians of the Revolution for offering 300,000 dollars (290,000 euros) for the murder of Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, and the Secretary of State with the same president, Mike Pompeo. It also takes place at a time when the US and Iran are still negotiating a nuclear deal for that last country to renounce for one or two decades the manufacture of atomic bombs in exchange for security guarantees from Washington.

Despite these geopolitical coincidences, it does not seem that Matar, in the event that he acted out of fanaticism, would be part of a plot. On the contrary, his profile seems more like that of a fanatic who radicalized himself, that is, as what is usually described as ‘lonely wolf‘, although comparing an extremist killer to a wolf is insulting to the animal. He was born in California, and had recently lived in Bergen, a city located on the outskirts of New York, just across from the island of Manhattan. He has pleaded “not guilty” for a crime that could cost him up to 25 years in prison. Little else is known about him, leaving aside the fact that his driving license was false.

Silence on the state of Rushdie

The authorities also maintain a wall of silence about the state of Rushdie’s health. There is no official information about the injuries suffered by the writer, nor about the sequels he suffered as a result of the attack or about the danger that he will die. The only information available was that provided Friday night (early Saturday morning in Europe) by Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, in an email.

According to that communication, Rushdie’s status “not good”. The writer was on a ventilator – implying that he needed help breathing – and had received at least one stab wound to the liver, a vital organ, and another in the throat. Rushdie could not speak, the nerves in one arm were severed, and he could lose the sight in one eye. According to other information cited by the US media, Matar would have stabbed seven or eight times to the author of ‘The Satanic Verses’.

The assassination attempt has triggered a wave of convictions Worldwide. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has called it “horrifying”; British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has declared that “for 33 years, Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism”; and the UN Secretary General, Anthony GuterresHe said he was “horrified” by the attack. The director of the American chapter of the PEN Club – an organization for the defense of writers around the world – recalled on Friday that a few hours before the attack, Rushdie had written to her “to help with the accommodation of Ukrainian writers” who have fled the Russian invasion of that country.

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