The horrific attack on author Salman Rushdie shows how religious fundamentalists still pose a big threat to the free world. The author was stabbed in the neck and abdomen by a 24-year-old Lebanese American identified as Hadi Matar. A preliminary review of Matar’s social media showed him to be sympathetic to “Shia extremism” and the causes of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). Rushdie, 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize.
His 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of Islam and Prophet Mohammad. The novel led to a fatwa, a religious decree, by Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The threat forced him into hiding for several years. While many thought the danger to his life was over and that the fatwa was just a publicity stunt, the horrific attempt on his life shocked the whole world. A 24-year-old educated man has been brainwashed to hate Rushdie. The attack on Salman Rushdie was met with outrage from much of the world and many world leaders and governments condemned the attack. But surprisingly, the Indian government and the Indian leaders have not uttered a word till now. Salman Rushdie is of Indian origin and was born in erstwhile Bombay. The government of India should have come forward and offered assistance, considering his Indian heritage. By maintaining silence, the government is giving space to Islamic fundamentalists who are rejoicing the horrific attack on him.