US Secretary of State Tony Blinken claimed that Salman Rushdie has consistently championed the universal rights of freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of the press and said Iran’s state institutions have instigated violence against the author of Indian descent for generations. state-affiliated media recently enjoyed an attempt on his life.
Salman Rushdie, 75, was stabbed Friday by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident at a New York literary event in what US authorities describe as a “targeted, pre-planned” attack. He is “pulling through” and has kept his “feisty and defiant” sense of humor intact despite battling serious, life-changing injuries, his son and ex-wife Padma Lakshmi said Sunday.
“We join those across the country and around the world who keep Salman Rushdie in our thoughts in the wake of this horrific attack,” Blinken said in a statement.
More than a literary giant, Rushdie has consistently championed the universal rights of freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of the press. As law enforcement continues to investigate the attack, I am reminded of the pernicious forces seeking to undermine these rights, including more through hate speech and incitement to violence.
“In particular, Iranian state institutions have incited violence against Rushdie for generations, and state-affiliated media have recently beamed at the attempt on his life. This is despicable,” he added.
The United States and its partners will not waver in their determination to confront these threats, using every appropriate tool at their disposal. The strength of Rushdie, and that of all those around the world who have endured such threats, cements its resolve and underscores the need to stand united as an international community against those who challenge these universal rights, Blinken said.