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Asserting that Salman Rushdie has consistently stood up for the universal rights of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on Sunday that Iranian state institutions have incited violence against the Indian-origin author for generations, and state-affiliated media recently gloated about an attempt on his life.
Salman Rushdie (75) was stabbed at a literary event in New York on Friday by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident in what US authorities called a “targeted, preplanned” attack. Despite facing terrible, life-changing injuries, he is “coming through” and maintaining his “feisty and defiant” sense of humour, according to his son and former wife Padma Lakshmi on Sunday.
“We join folks throughout the country and around the world in remembering Salman Rushdie in the aftermath of this horrible attack,” Blinken said in a statement.
“More than a literary giant, Rushdie has continuously advocated for the universal rights of free expression, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of the press.” While law enforcement officials continue to investigate the incident, I am reminded of the destructive forces that attempt to undermine fundamental liberties, especially through hate speech and incitement to violence.
“For centuries, Iranian official institutions have incited violence against Rushdie, and state-affiliated media recently gloated over his assassination attempt. This is heinous, “he said
The United States and its allies will not waver in their determination to confront these dangers with every appropriate measure at their disposal. The strength of Rushdie and all individuals throughout the world who have faced such threats hardens the determination and emphasises the importance of standing unified as an international society against those who would attack these universal rights, according to Blinken.