The American accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie said Wednesday, August 17, that he was “surprised” that the author of “The Satanic Verses” survived the attack, which was announced on Friday at a conference in the state New York had been committed. “When I heard he survived, I was surprised,” Hadi Matar told the New York Post, which said he contacted him in prison.
The suspect, arrested immediately after the attack, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder on Saturday and is due to appear in court again on Friday. Hadi Matar, 24, did not say if he was inspired by the fatwa issued by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, calling for the death of the author of the satanic verses, which was seen as blasphemous.
“I appreciate the ayatollah. I think he’s a remarkable person. That’s all I want to say,” he told the New York tabloid, which writes that Hadi Matar’s lawyers advised him not to speak about the subject. Hadi Matar told the newspaper he had read “a few pages” of Salman Rushdie’s novel.
The 75-year-old British author, who was stabbed a dozen times and evacuated to a hospital by helicopter, was briefly put on a ventilator before his condition improved. “The road to recovery has begun,” his agent said on Sunday.
“I don’t like this person. I don’t think he’s a good man,” the suspect told the New York Post of the intellectual. “I don’t like him, I really don’t like him.” “He is someone who has attacked Islam,” he added. When he watched the author’s videos on YouTube, he found him “hypocritical”. He affirmed that he had no contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and that he had heard about Salman Rushdie’s presence at a cultural center conference in Chautauqua, northwest New York, via Twitter.