Kayhanan ultra-conservative Iranian daily, saw in him a “courageous and conscious of his duty” to get “attacked the apostate and the vicious Salman Rushdie”. At this stage, however, no direct link has been established between the 24-year-old man who repeatedly stabbed the author of the satanic verses and Tehran, from where a fatwa targeting the British novelist was launched more than thirty years ago.
Aged 24, the attacker identified by the police as Hadi Matar is from Fairview in the neighboring state of New Jersey. He was born on American soil to parents who had emigrated from Lebanon, ten years after the publication of satanic verses, according to information from the Associated Press.
As soon as the stabbing attack took place on the stage of an amphitheater at a cultural center in Chautauqua, in upstate New York, the individual was arrested and taken into custody. .
However, the authorities did not reveal anything about the assailant’s motivations or his modus operandi, forcing the American press to rely on conjecture and witnesses to the attack. Quoted by New York Timesa person in the front row of the audience described a violent scene as well as a man “relentless”, “extremely powerful” and ” fast “. “It took five men to get him away, and he kept hitting,” she testified. The president of the cultural center, Michael Hill, clarified on Friday that Hadi Matar had a ticket to access the conference.
A backpack belonging to him was seized by authorities who searched his hotel room in Chautauqua as well as his place of residence, according to American media.
According to the first elements collected by the audiovisual group NBC and police sources cited by the New York Post, a preliminary examination of his social media accounts would reveal sympathies for the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guards, the regime’s ideological army. Citing an anonymous source, NBC New York also evokes an ideological proximity to Shiite extremism.
Images circulating on social media, presented as screenshots of his Facebook account taken before it was shut down by the platform, show photos of iconic Iranian regime figures, including Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, originally of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.
Salman Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses, has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. The following year, Ayatollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution from 1979 to 1989, issued a fatwa (religious decree) calling for the death of the author.