Yair Lapid

Lapid: The attack on Salman Rushdie is an attack on our freedoms and values

PM condemns stabbing of novelist by Islamist assailant during New York lecture, pins blame for attack on Iran who had a bounty on Islam critic's head for decades

Itamar Eichner, news agencies |
Published: 08.14.22, 10:37
Prime Minister Yair Lapid condemned in a tweet Saturday night the attack on novelist Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed during a lecture in New York the previous day.
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  • "The attack on Salman Rushdie is an attack on our freedoms and values. It is the result of decades of incitement led by the extremist regime in Tehran," he wrote.
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    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפידבהצהרה לתקשורת עם סיום מבצע עלות השחר
    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפידבהצהרה לתקשורת עם סיום מבצע עלות השחר
    Yair Lapid
    (Photo: GPO)
    "On behalf of the people of Israel, we wish him a full and speedy recovery."
    Rushdie, 75, was set to deliver a lecture on artistic freedom at Chautauqua Institution in western New York when police say the assailant rushed the stage and stabbed the Indian-born writer, who has lived with a bounty on his head since his 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" prompted Iran to urge Muslims to kill him.
    It was reported at night, after the stabbing, that he was hooked up to a respirator and not speaking. Rushdie is likely to lose an eye and suffers nerve damage in his arm and wounds to his liver.
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    סלמן רושדי
    סלמן רושדי
    Salman Rushdie and the scene of the attack
    (Photo: EPA, AP)
    The stabbing was condemned by writers and politicians around the world as an assault on freedom of expression. In a statement on Saturday, President Joe Biden commended the "universal ideals" that Rushdie and his work embody.
    "Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear," Biden said. "These are the building blocks of any free and open society."
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    פנוי סלמן רושדי במסוק
    פנוי סלמן רושדי במסוק
    Rushdie taken to a helicopter to be airlifted to a hospital
    (Photo: AFP)
    On the contrary, several Iranian media outlets released praiseful following the stabbing.
    News outlet Kayhan, considered the most conservative Iranian newspaper, wrote: "Thousands of applause for the brave and observant man who attacked the evil infidel Salman Rushdie in New York.
    "The hand of man that tore off the neck of the enemy of Allah – should be kissed."
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    ארה"ב האדי מטר האיש ש דקר את סלמן רושדי רישיון נהיגה מזויף תחת השם חסן מורנייה
    ארה"ב האדי מטר האיש ש דקר את סלמן רושדי רישיון נהיגה מזויף תחת השם חסן מורנייה
    Hadi Matar's fake ID
    The accused attacker, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault at a court appearance on Saturday, said his court-appointed lawyer.
    Matar was born in the U.S. to parents who emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon. An initial law enforcement review of Matar's social media accounts showed he was sympathetic to Shi'ite extremism and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), although no definitive links had been found, according to NBC New York.
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