- Khan termed the attack as sad and terrible
- Rushdie was stabbed on stage during a lecture in Western New York
- Rushdie's fourth book The Satanic Verses forced him into hiding for nine years
Salman Rushdie stabbed: Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday condemned the attack on renowned author Salman Rushdie, a media report said. Terming the attack as sad and terrible he said that although the anger of the Islamic world is understandable, the act is not justified.
The author of the controversial book, 'The Satanic Verses', was stabbed on stage last week at a literary event at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident. The accused, Hadi Matar, is a US national of Lebanese origin.
He suffered three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on his right thigh, Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said during the suspect's arraignment.
“I think it’s terrible, sad,” Khan said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper when asked for his response on Rushdie’s assault.
“Rushdie understood because he came from a Muslim family. He knows the love, respect, and reverence of a prophet that lives in our hearts. He knew that,” Khan told the British newspaper. “So, the anger I understood, but you can’t justify what happened,” he explained. Khan and Rushdie share an acrimonious relationship.
In 2012, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman had refused to attend a media conclave in New Delhi after he learnt about Rushdie’s participation. Khan cancelled his participation as a keynote speaker at the conclave stating that he could not think of participating in an event that included Rushdie, who has caused "immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe".
Rushdie's fourth book The Satanic Verses, released in 1988, forced him into hiding for nine years. The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini accused Rushdie of blasphemy over the book and in 1989 issued a fatwa against him, calling for his death. Rushdie’s writing has led to death threats from Iran, which has offered a USD 3 million reward for anyone who kills him.
(With inputs from PTI)