×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
VIEW
×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
VIEW
Skip to main content
Tags: salman rushdie | attack | matar | new york | muslim

Attacker Says He Didn't Think Rushdie Would Survive

a billboard bears the portrait of the late supreme leader ayatollah ruhollah khomeini in tehran
A billboard in Tehran, Iran, bears the portrait of the late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 August 2022 02:33 PM EDT

Hadi Matar, who stabbed Salman Rushdie multiple times in western New York last week, praised Iran's Ayatollah in a jailhouse interview with the New York Post and said he didn’t think the author would survive.

"When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess," Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, said in a video interview from the Chautauqua County Jail.

Rushdie suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, according to his agent. In 1989, Iran's Supreme Leader issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death after he published "The Satanic Verses," which some Muslims consider blasphemous. The author went into hiding but now lives fairly openly in New York City.

Rushdie was speaking at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York when he was attacked by Matar.

The assailant, who is of Muslim descent and has been described as a loner, wouldn't say to the New York Post if he was inspired by the late Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issuing a fatwa against Rushdie.

"I respect the Ayatollah. I think he's a great person. That's as far as I will say about that," Matar said, noting he only "read a couple pages" of Rushdie's controversial novel.

The accused stabber denied being in contact with Iran's Revolutionary Guard and said he was inspired to go to Chautauqua after seeing a tweet announcing Rushdie's visit.

"I don't like the person. I don't think he's a very good person," he said of Rushdie. "He's someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems."

Matar's parents are divorced. He traveled to Lebanon in 2018 to visit his father. His mother said the trip changed him, and when he returned from Lebanon he became religious and isolated himself in her basement, "using the internet, playing video games, watching Netflix, stuff like that."

He worked at a Marshalls in Edgewater for two months and trained as a boxer.

"I wanted a hobby, a recreational activity," he said about his boxing gym in New Jersey.

"I'm done with him," Silvana Fardos, his mother, said in an interview with The New York Times. She said that she had not talked to him since he was charged with attempting to kill Rushdie on Friday.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the attack and has disclosed no clear motive. Iran's Foreign Ministry blamed Rushdie and denied any role, according to The Times.

Matar has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault.

His next court hearing is set for Friday.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Hadi Matar, who stabbed Salman Rushdie multiple times in western New York last week, praised Iran's ayatollah in a jailhouse interview with the New York Post and said he didn’t think the author would survive.
salman rushdie, attack, matar, new york, muslim
423
2022-33-17
Wednesday, 17 August 2022 02:33 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved