Rushdie Attack Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

By: Brandon Williams, August 19th, 2022 10:08 pm.

The Guardian reports that Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old suspect in the Salman Rushdie stabbing, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder and assault.

As reported a week ago, the author was brutally stabbed on stage multiple times. Rushdie was hospitalized immediately following the attack. He suffered injuries to the nerves in his arm, and liver, and will likely lose an eye.

“His mission to kill Mr. Rushdie is greater in his mind and outweighs his personal freedom” said district attorney Jason Schmidt, making the argument that Matar should remain in custody.

Judge David Foley agreed, and ordered Matar to remain in custody without bail. In addition, he issued a protecting order to prohibit Matar from going near the author as well as lecture moderator Ralph Henry Reese, who also sustained minor injuries.

Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses was seen as blasphemous by some Muslims, causing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a religious edict called a fatwa, calling on his people to assassinate Rushdie.

Matar was interviewed by the New York Post this week. Although he mentioned he respected the late Iranian leader, he would answer whether or not the fatwa inspired the attack.

“I don’t like [Rushdie] very much,” Matar said in the New York Post interview. “He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”

Matar is a Shia Muslim who was born in California. He is of Lebanese descent.

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