Washington, DC — 08/12/2022
Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) strongly condemns the public stabbing of author Salman Rushdie at the Chautaqua Institution in New York.“This shocking attack on a prolific author, who has been threatened with death over accusations of blasphemy in the past, is barbaric, despicable, and without place anywhere in the world, let alone in the United States,” said Muhammad Syed, President of EXMNA. “We at EXMNA wish Rushdie a speedy, full recovery—along with swift justice for the assailant, who is currently in police custody.” While a motivation for the attack has not yet been confirmed, Rushdie has been the target of death threats since the release of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, which came under fire from Islamic religious leaders over accusations of blasphemous content. Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a fatwa “sentencing” Rushdie to death, forcing the author into hiding for a number of years. Prior to the attack, Rushdie had been preparing to give a speech on artistic freedom of expression in the United States. “For decades, Salman Rushdie has been an inspiration to writers and all who would exercise their right to free expression without being cowed into terror,” continued Syed. “It is tragic and outrageous that he would suffer an attempt on his life for speaking in defense of that right.” Per most recent reporting, Rushdie’s condition is unclear, but he is apparently alive and in surgery, according to his agent. ###
Since 2013, Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA), an IRS registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit, has stood for the rights and dignities of those who leave Islam. Ex-Muslims of North America advocates for acceptance of religious dissent, promotes secular values, and aims to reduce discrimination faced by those who leave Islam.