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Iranian conservative media praise Salman Rushdie’s assailant

The ultra-conservative Iranian newspaper Kayhan Saturday praised the attacker who attacked British writer Salman Rushdie– who wrote 'The Satanic Verses.

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Rushdie was on life support after being stabbed during a literary event in New York State on Friday, over 30 years after he hid in the wake of the fatwa of the former supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

“Congratulations to this brave and conscientious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York,” the newspaper said whose chief is named by the present Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Let us kiss the hands of the one who ripped the neck of the enemy of God with a knife,” added the daily.

Except for reformist publications such as Etemad, the majority of the Iranian media followed a similar line, calling Rushdie “apostate”.

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Iran has not yet made any official comments on the stabbing attack on Rushdie.

Rushdie, 75, was brought to the limelight with his second novel “Midnight’ Children” in 1981, which won international accolades and the prestigious British Booker Prize for the depiction of India after independence.

But his 1988 book “Satanic Verses” changed his life when Khomeini issued a religious decree for his murder.

In 1998, the government of Iran’s reform president, Mohammad Khatami, assured Britain that Iran would not enforce the fatwa.

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