The American accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie said in an interview on Wednesday that he was “surprised” that the author of the satanic verses survived the attack, perpetrated Friday at a conference in New York State. “When I heard he had survived, I was surprised,” Hadi Matar told the New York Post, which indicates having contacted him in prison. The suspect, arrested immediately after the attack, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder on Saturday and is due to appear in court again on Friday.
The suspect only read a few pages of “Satanic Verses”
Hadi Matar, 24, did not say whether he was inspired by the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 from Iran, calling for the death of the author of the satanic verses, considered blasphemous. “I have esteem for the Ayatollah. I think he is a remarkable person. That’s all I would say about it,” he told the New York tabloid. who writes that Hadi Matar’s lawyers advised him not to talk about this subject.
Hadi Matar told the newspaper that he had read “a few pages” of Salman Rushdie’s novel. The 75-year-old British author, stabbed a dozen times and evacuated by helicopter to a hospital, was briefly placed on a ventilator before his condition improved. “The road to recovery has begun,” his agent said on Sunday.
Rushdie “attacked Islam”, says the suspect
“I don’t like this person. I don’t think he’s a good man,” the suspect told the New York Post about the intellectual. “I don’t like him, I really don’t like him.” “He is someone who attacked Islam,” he added. Watching videos of the author on YouTube, he found him “hypocritical”, he continued. He assured not to be in contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and to have learned of the presence of Salman Rushdie at a conference of a cultural center in Chautauqua, in the northwestern State of New York, by Twitter.
Originally from the state of New Jersey, he told the American media that he took the bus to the city of Buffalo, then a Lyft – competitor of Uber and taxis – to get to Chautauqua. “I wasn’t doing anything in particular, just wandering around,” he said, “I was just outside all the time.” As Salman Rushdie took the stage in an amphitheater, a man rushed to the stage before stabbing him several times, including in the neck and abdomen. Hadi Matar had returned “changed” and more religious from a 2018 trip to Lebanon, his family’s country of origin, his mother told the website on Monday. DailyMail.