Salman Rushdie without a fan and speaking, one day after the attack in New York: Agent

Salman Rushdie is “on the road to recovery,” his agent confirmed Sunday, two days after the author of “The Satanic Verses” was seriously injured in a knife attack at a conference in upstate New York.

The announcement followed news that the lauded author was removed by a fan on Saturday and was able to talk and joke around. Wylie went on to warn that Rushdie’s “condition is going in the right direction” but that his recovery would be a long process. an arm and an eye, Wylie had said earlier, and he would probably lose the injured eye.

Hadi Matar, 24, on Saturday pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault in the attack on the Chautauqua Institution, a non-profit aging and education center.

A judge ordered him held without bail after District Attorney Jason Schmidt told him that Matar had taken steps to intentionally position himself to harm Rushdie to gain an early pass to the event where the author spoke, and arrived a day early with a fake ID.

This was a pre-planned, unprovoked, targeted attack on Mr. Rushdie,” Schmidt said. Public defender Nathaniel Barone complained that it took authorities too long to bring Matar before a judge while he was “affiliated with a bank in the state Police station.

You have this constitutional right to be presumed innocent,” Barone added the attack was met with shock and outrage across much of the world, along with tributes and praise for the award-winning author, who has faced death threats for The Satanic Verses for more than 30 years.

Authors, activists, and government officials praised Rushdie’s bravery. and longtime advocate of freedom of expression despite risks to his own safety.

Writer and longtime friend Ian McEwan called Rushdie “an inspirational advocate for persecuted writers and journalists around the world,” and actor and author Kal Penn called him a role model “for an entire generation of artists, especially for many of us.” in the south, the Asian diaspora, to whom he showed incredible warmth. President Joe Biden said in a statement Saturday that he and First Lady Jill Biden were “shocked and saddened” by the attack.

“Salman Rushdie represents essential and universal ideals in his vision of humanity, in his unparalleled sense of history, in his refusal to be intimidated or silenced,” the statement said. “True. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear.

These are the building blocks of any free and open society Rushdie, an Indian by birth who has since lived in the UK and US, wrote Children,” in which he criticized India’s then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats after its release in 1988, and many Muslims considered a dream sequence based on the life of the Prophet Mohammed blasphemous among other objections.

Rushdie’s book had already been banned and burned in India, Pakistan and elsewhere before Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah, Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, in 1989 calling for Rushdie’s death.

Khomeini died that same year, but the fatwa is still in force. Iran’s current supreme leader, Khamenei, has never issued his own fatwa to withdraw the edict, although Iran has not targeted the author in recent years. Investigators were working to determine if the suspect, who was born a decade after The Satanic Verses was published, acted alone.

Prosecutor Schmidt cited the fatwa as a possible reason for arguing against bail. a risk that bail can be paid,” said Schmidt.”I don’t care about your resources. We understand that the agenda carried out yesterday is something that has been embraced and sanctioned by larger groups and organizations well beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of Chautauqua County,” the prosecutor said. Barone,

The public defender said after the hearing that Matar has been open in communication with him and will spend the next few weeks learning more about his client, including whether he has any mental health or substance abuse problems( Matar is from Fairview, New Jersey).

Rosaria Calabrese, manager of the State of Fitness Boxing Club, a small, close-knit gym in nearby North Bergen, said Matar joined on April 11 and attended about 27 group sessions for beginners looking to improve their fitness before joining him sent an email a few days ago to say he wanted to cancel his membership because “I won’t be coming back for a while.

The gym’s owner, Desmond Boyle, said he saw “nothing violent” in Matar and described him as polite and calm but always with an “awfully sad” look. He said Matar resisted his and others’ attempts to welcome and lure him.

“He had that look every time he walked in. It seemed like the worst day of his life,” Boyle said. Matar was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon, the village’s mayor, Ali Tehfe, told The Associated Press.

Flags of the Iran-backed Shia militant group Hezbollah can be seen throughout the village, along with portraits of leader Hassan Nasrallah, Khamenei, Khomeini, and assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Journalists visiting Yaroun on Saturday were told to leave.

Hezbollah spokesmen did not respond. upon requests for comments. Iran’s theocratic government and its state-run media have not given a motive for the attack.

In Tehran, some Iranians interviewed by AP praised the attack on a perpetrator they believe is sullying the Islamic faith, while others fear it is further isolating their country. Event host Henry Reese, 73, suffered a facial injury and was treated and discharged from a hospital, police said.

He and Rushdie had planned to speak about the United States as a haven for exiled writers and other artists. A deputy county sheriff was assigned to Rushdie’s conference, and police said the officer made the arrest.

But afterward, some seasoned visitors to the Chautauqua Institution questioned why there weren’t tightened security measures, given the threats against Rushdie and a bounty of more than $3 million on his head. On Saturday, the center said it was increasing security through measures such as requiring a photo ID to purchase admission tickets, which previously could be obtained anonymously.

Guests entering the amphitheater where Rushdie was attacked are also prohibited from carrying bags of any kind. The changes, along with an increased armed police presence on the idyllic grounds, came as quite a surprise to Chautauquan residents, who have enjoyed the laid-back vibe for which Chautauquan’s resort is known for nearly 150 years. Lists after the fatwa were issued in 1989.

As of Saturday afternoon, the novel was ranked number 13 on Amazon.com. The death threats and bounties Rushdie faced for the book following its publication meant he hid under a UK government protection scheme that included 24-hour surveillance included. armed guard.

After nine years of seclusion, Rushdie cautiously resumed more public appearances. In 2012 he published a treatise on the fatwa entitled Joseph Anton, the pseudonym he used in hiding. Earlier this year, during a lecture in New York, he said that terrorism really is the art of fear: “The only way to defeat it is to choose not to be afraid.

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