New York Prosecutors have indicted Hadi Matar (a New Jersey resident aged 24) with attempted second degree murder. This comes after Salman Rushdie, the novelist, was critically injured in a stabbing attack that occurred a day before.
“The individual responsible for the attack yesterday, Hadi Matar, has now been formally charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree,”Jason Schmidt, Chautauqua County District attorney, made the following statement.
“He was arraigned on these charges last night and remanded without bail,”Schmidt said that federal and state authorities were examining whether additional charges should be applied.
Rushdie, a knife-wielding suspect attacked him on Friday as he was giving a Chautauqua Institute lecture on freedom and expression. According to witnesses, the victim was an Indian-born British American author who had been living in India for 75 years. He was then stabbed several times in the neck as well as his torso.
Rushdie was flown to the hospital and is still on a ventilator.
Matar, 24, a New Jersey native, was immediately arrested. FBI officers searched Matar’s address. While the motive behind the stabbing was not identified by them, many news outlets claimed that Matar had posted on social media in support Iran and its military. “Shia extremism more broadly,”The New York Post.
Rushdie’s 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ was condemned by Muslims for its allegedly blasphemous references to Islam and its holy book, the Koran. Iran’s late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for Rushdie’s death, and while Iran has officially walked back this edict, an Iranian religious foundation offered a $3.3 million bounty on the author’s head in 2012.
In the years since the fatwa was first issued, Rushdie’s Japanese translator was stabbed to death, while a stabbing attack left his Italian translator seriously injured. His Norwegian publisher, who was also shot and injures, was also the victim of an attempt at arson by Islamist mob, which resulted in 37 deaths, but no injuries to the translator.
Rushdie lived from 1989 through 2002 under protection by the British government, and then he slowly returned to public life.
Matar could spend 25 years prison under New York law if Matar is found guilty of attempted murder.
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