In Quixote (2019), his last published novel, Salman Rushdie, transposing the work of Cervantes in the America of the Trump years, depicted “the age of anything-can-happen”. Especially the worst. The writer knew this better than anyone, he who for 33 years had lived under the shadow of a “fatwa” launched by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Guide of the Iranian Revolution. A death sentence, issued on February 14, 1989, six months after the publication of The Satanic Verses (1988), a blasphemous work against the Islamic prophet Muhammad for the Mullah regime in Iran, and banned in many countries. he writer of Indian origin has lived in hiding for a long time, under heavy police protection, especially when he lived in London. For several years, New York had become his refuge. The subject of the conference he was giving this Friday, held in an amphitheater of a cultural center in Chautauqua, a city located in the northwestern state of New York, was precisely on “the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for creative freedom”. In recent years, Rushdie has repeatedly said that he had to “live his life”, not hesitating to appear in public with security reduced to a minimum. The figure of Ayatollah Khomeini served as his photo of profileThis Friday, August 12, on the stage, there was a police officer and a deputy sheriff from Chautauqua County. A device that could not prevent the assassination attempt which occurred shortly before 11 a.m. (local time) when the writer was about to speak. Stabbed in the neck and abdomen, he was still in critical condition, on life support, this Saturday, August 13. The attacker, dressed in a military fatigues t-shirt, was quickly tackled to the ground by spectators before being arrested by the police. “It took five men to remove him and he was still in the process of kicking,” Linda Abrams, who attended the conference, told the New York Times. According to the police and several witnesses, the man allegedly attacked Salman Rushdie from behind. New York State Police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski revealed the 24-year-old alleged assailant was Hadi Matar. He would have been born in California but lived in Fairview, a town in Bergen County, New Jersey. On his social networks, Hadi Matar highlights figures of the Iranian regime, as well as its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini , author of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. pic.twitter.com/kW3xuyjtD6— Romain Caillet (@RomainCaillet) August 13, 2022 New York State Police say the man was arrested for attempted murder of the writer and self-injury with a weapon fatal on the moderator of the debates, hit in the face. Taken into custody at the Jamestown police station, Hadi Matar was charged and transported to the Chautauqua County Jail this Saturday, August 13. The motive for the attack is not yet determined and no link has been formally established between the 24-year-old man and Tehran. But the analysis of his Facebook account, suspended by the platform, and a fake allowed to find on him show that Hadi Matar ostensibly displayed his support for the Iranian regime and the Lebanese Hezbollah. The figure of Ayatollah Khomeini served as his profile picture. According to the American channel NBC News, photos of Iranian General Qassem Solemani, assassinated by a United States strike in early 2020 in Baghdad, were found in an instant messaging application. For Romain Caillet, an Islamologist, Hadi Matar is a “Shiite Lebanese of Khomeini persuasion”. His family comes from the village of Yaroun, located in southern Lebanon, a few hectometres from the Israeli border, Ali Tehfe, the mayor of the village, told several news agencies. A fake driver’s license was found on the young man bearing the name “Mughniyah”, a reference according to several media to an officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and one of the founders of Hezbollah: Imad Mughniyah. ‘One of Hezbollah’s top commanders, eliminated by Israel with US backing in 2008,’ Islamologist tweets opened. According to the first elements, the investigators would turn to the track of an isolated act. It remains to lift the veil on several gray areas. Does Hadi Matar have ties to Hezbollah? Is his assassination attempt a response to the “fatwa” launched 33 years ago by the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution or the broader desire to attack the United States and a paragon of freedom of movement? ‘expression ? The results of the search of his home and the analysis of several electronic devices seized from the scene of the attack could enlighten the investigators? While the Western world lives in anguish to know the evolution of the state of author of Midnight Children (1981), the main Iranian ultra-conservative daily, Kayhan, praised Hadi Matar this Saturday, August 13. “Congratulations to this marvelous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and vicious Salman Rushdie,” writes the newspaper, whose boss is appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini. “Let us kiss the hand of him who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife. »
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