The assassination attempt on Salman Rushdie shows the cruelty of reality

WHow do you feel when you know that Ayatollah Khomeini has sentenced you to death? Salman Rushdie answers the question on the first page of his autobiography: “I am a dead man,” immediately think of February 14, 1989. The next seven hundred pages describe how he painstakingly freed himself from this fatalism—a path paved with depression and perversion, like police advice to wear a wig Wig.

An almost unimaginable way, one remembers, is all that has happened since that day in 1989, Iranian religious leader Khomeini called on all Muslims of the world to kill the author of The Satanic Verses and everyone involved in its publication because the book mocked Islam. It wasn’t just about burning Rushdie’s brides, there were actually deaths and serious injuries. Rushdie’s Japanese translator was stabbed, his Norwegian publisher was shot, and other translators were assassinated, with more deaths. Rushdie’s $1 million bounty continued to rise.

Evil in the guise of virtue

However, after years of covert action, Rushdie decided not to let his pursuers win. The fatwa was not a court ruling, but rather a “cruel, dying fatwa.” In a church pulpit in England, the country where fanatics burned his books in the open street, the Bombay native, born in 1947, summoned all the courage to give a counter-sermon: “One can see Khomeini’s fatwa itself as a group and in the fatwa “Evil appears in the dress of virtue and deceives believers.” .

But even with this justification, Rushdie did not stop. He took another incomprehensible step: he finally began to look at his situation with irony and treat the incitement to murder against him as a matter of sarcasm. The daring series of American comedian Larry David, to cynically distort Rushdie’s outrageous stance to make him known (“The Fatwa – Musical!”), was taken to the extreme with a guest appearance. When the death fatwa is also issued against David in the series, Rushdie comes on the show and tells the sitcom comedian that he should stop hiding – after all, the fatwa makes him sexy and desirable. Not only in preparing to ridicule himself in this situation, but also in imagining it, is an act of self-empowerment by Rushdie and an attempt to liberate himself: he wanted to determine for himself how people talk about him, also in the kind that Islamists despise.

Waiver of Personal Protection

Rushdie maintained artistic freedom in his persistently provocative postmodern novels. And even in his lifestyle, he liberated himself again years later and resolutely refrained from personal security. In interviews, he described himself as an optimist, as stupid as he might sound. Eat out again. Take part in the literary life.

That was the case last Friday when he sat on the podium at the Chautauqua Humanitarian Education Facility in western New York to discuss the topic “America as a Sanctuary for Persecuted Writers.”

A 24-year-old New Jersey man jumped on stage and started stabbing Rushdie with a knife. He was hit in the face, neck, arm and stomach. According to eyewitnesses, several people barely managed to prevent the perpetrator from continuing to stab him before his arrest. Rushdie was taken to the hospital and underwent a lengthy emergency operation.

Since Friday, the world has been following his condition reports with goosebumps. He was said to be on a ventilator, and his literary agent Andrew Wiley said Rushdie had sustained a liver injury and would likely lose one of his eyes. After a long period of uncertainty about whether Rushdie would survive, I heard cautious news about his stabilization on Sunday.

What has since been reported is hard to believe again. Hundreds took to Twitter to share their joy at the assassination attempt, and an Iranian newspaper sponsored by religious leader Ali Khamenei wrote that one should “kiss the hand of someone who stabbed the enemy of God in the throat.” Unfortunately, this reality goes beyond even the most gruesome satire.

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