UFC commentator Joe Rogan shared an interesting old quote from author Salman Rushdie after the latter was stabbed at an event in New York yesterday.
In a new post on Instagram, Rogan displayed a graphic of the 75-year-old's quote in the aftermath of the horrific accident. It read:
"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."
Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen at a literary event at the Chautauqua Institution in New York and is on a ventilator and could lose an eye, per reports. He faced threats for years over his 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, which was considered disrespectful to the Prophet Mohammed.
He was forced into hiding for nearly nine years for the same after former Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him. New York State Police later identified the attacker as Hadi Matar, whose social media showed him inclined to "Shia extremism" and the cause of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).
Salman Rushdie responded to death threats after ordered fatwa
Salman Rushdie spoke about the threats made against him back in 1989 while speaking on BBC Radio 4 and said that his book was not a “blasphemy against Islam”:
“Frankly, I wish I had written a more critical book and I'm very sad that it should have happened. It's not true that this book is a blasphemy against Islam. I doubt very much that Khomeini or anyone else in Iran has read the book or more than selected extracts out of context.”
The fatwa against Salman Rushdie forced the United Kingdom and Iran to break their diplomatic ties in 1989. However, the fatwa has never been officially lifted since then by Iran.
In 1997, Ayatollah Hasan Sane'i reported that the bounty for the assassination of Rushdie would be increased from $2 million to $2.5 million. Financial donations were made to increase the bounty to kill Rushdie since 2016. Unfortunately, 34 years after his comments, this brutal attack will go down as one of the biggest talking points in recent history.
Watch Rushdie talk about threats to his life in 1989 below: