WGA Condemns Salman Rushdie Attack “In Strongest Possible Terms”

Leaders of the WGA East and West have issued a statement condemning the stabbing of Salman Rushdie as he was about to speak last week at a literary event in New York celebrating the U.S. as a safe haven for exiled writers. Rushdie, whose 1988 book The Satanic Verses is climbing the best-seller charts after the attack, remains in critical condition but is expected to survive, though he might lose an eye.

“The Writers Guild of America condemns in the strongest possible terms Friday’s horrific attack on author and fellow Writers Guild East member Salman Rushdie,” the guilds said in a joint statement. “Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy and one of the founding principles of our union. The right to express oneself freely and without fear of violence is unwavering and absolute. An attack on one writer is an attack on all writers.

Salman Rushdie Tells Stern Magazine “His Life Is Very Normal” Just A Fortnight Before His Stabbing

“Salman Rushdie is a leading advocate in the ongoing fight for free expression for writers and artists around the world. As he once said, ‘What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy.’ We applaud him for his unfailing courage through the years and in the days ahead wish him a fast and full recovery.”

The statement was signed “in solidarity” by all the elected leaders of both guilds.

In 1989, Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa ordering the killing of Rushdie. Iran, however, denies any involvement in the attack.

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