Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author who was hospitalized on Friday with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in New York state, has been extubated from his respirator and his condition is improving, his agent said Sunday.
“He is off the respirator so the road to recovery has begun,” his agent Andrew Wylie wrote in an email to Reuters. “It will be long; injuries are serious, but his condition is heading in the right direction.”
Novelist is sworn to death
Rushdie was born in India but moved to England where he studied and majored in history. He published his first novel, “Grimus”, in 1975.
The way he tackles sensitive political and religious subjects in his works has made him a controversial figure. This came to a head with the publication of his fourth novel: “The Satanic Verses” in 1988.
The book was widely criticized by the Muslim community, who considered it sacrilegious. In 1989, the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, claimed that Rushdie was committing blasphemy and that it was “an insult to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad”, and issued a religious decree – or fatwa – calling for his death.
“It is a case of religious fundamentalism. A political instrumentalization of the religious text. In this case, internationally. Since it is not up to the government of a country to condemn the citizens of other countries based on the laws of their state”, says Luana Hordones Chaves, a researcher at Unesp.
So for the next few years, the writer lived under tight security.
In 1998, the government of Iran said it would try not to carry out the order. Even so, this matter has not ended and, in 2017, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, highlighted that the decree was still in force.
Iranian organizations, some affiliated with the government, have raised a multimillion-dollar reward for Rushdie’s murder. In 2019, Khamenei again said that the measure was “irrevocable”.
Chaves points out that the case exposes a conflict, for example, of sovereignty, since Iran sentenced a British citizen – who was also not on Iranian soil. Several press vehicles and the United Nations (UN) moved to defend the writer’s life.
“It so happens that the rights of freedom of expression (including those of a religious nature) and the freedom of religion that the UN Charter defends contradict the rights of many Muslim countries. Precisely because, in the Islamic perspective, apostasy and blasphemy are considered crimes”, explains the expert.
(With information from CNN)
Source: CNN Brasil