Hadi Matar, 24, is heard in court in Chautauqua, Aug. 13, 2022. GENE J. PUSKAR/AP
The man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie said in an interview with the New York Post on Wednesday, August 17, that he was “amazed” that the author survived the attack, which began a week ago during a conference in New York State.
“When I heard he survived, I was amazed,” Hadi Matar told the American daily, which claims to have 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 Thursday.
Mr Matar, 24, did not say if he was inspired by the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 calling for the death of the author of the Satanic Verses. “I appreciate the ayatollah. I think he’s a remarkable person. That’s all I would say about it,” he assured the New York tabloid, which writes that Mr. Matar’s lawyers advised him not to speak out on the subject.
Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers The man who stabbed Salman Rushdie, a Lebanese-American obsessed with the Iranian revolution
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.
Returned “changed” from a trip to Lebanon, according to his mother
“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 it, I really don’t like it,” he insisted. “He is someone who has attacked Islam,” he added.
After watching videos of the author on YouTube, he found him “hypocritical,” he continued. He said he has no contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and learned through Twitter of Mr Rushdie’s presence at a conference at a cultural center in Chautauqua, New York.
Originally from the state of New Jersey, he told American media he took a bus to the city of Buffalo and then took a VTC to Chautauqua. “I didn’t do anything special, I just walked around,” he explained. I was just outside the whole time. »
As Salman Rushdie took the stage at an amphitheater, a man rushed onto the stage before stabbing him multiple times, including in the neck and abdomen. Hadi Matar returned in 2018 “changed” and more religious from a trip to Lebanon, his family’s country of origin, his mother told the Chron website on Monday.
Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers The literary world reacts to Salman Rushdie’s aggression: “Attacks on writers do not silence them. It only amplifies her voice.”