Several hardline Iranian newspapers on Saturday praised the person who attacked and seriously injured writer Salman Rushdie, who had been threatened with death by Iran since 1989 for his novel “The Satanic Verses.”
There has yet to be any official reaction from Iran to the attack on Rushdie, who was stabbed in the neck and torso Friday while he was on stage at a conference in New York state.
However, the hardline newspaper Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote:
“A thousand bravos…to the brave and obedient person who attacked the apostate and wicked Salman Rushdie in New York,” he said, adding that “you have to kiss the hand of the man who tore the neck of the enemy of God.”
The leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, in 1989 calling on Muslims around the world to kill the Indian-born author after his book was condemned. as a blasphemer, forcing him to hide for years.
In 2019, Twitter suspended Khamenei’s account for a tweet that said Khomeini’s fatwa against Rushdie was “sound and irrevocable.”
The Asr Iran news site on Saturday published an oft-quoted quote from Khamenei saying that the “arrow” fired by Khomeini “will one day hit the target.”
A wealthy Iranian religious organization offered a $2.7 million reward to anyone who fulfilled Khomeini’s fatwa. He increased the amount to $3.3 million in 2012.
The headline of the hardline Vatan Emrooz newspaper said: “Knife in Salman Rushdie’s neck.” The Khorasan newspaper headlined: “Satan on his way to hell.”