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Share your messages of support for Salman Rushdie

Join us in sending messages of support to the author, who was attacked as he prepared to give a lecture in New York state in August 2022

18 Aug 2022
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP
Salman Rushdie in Berlin. Photo: ChrissKockellman

On 12 August 2022, Salman Rushdie, the author of the book The Satanic Verses, was attacked as he prepared to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution, an arts and education centre in New York state. He was stabbed in the neck, face and abdomen and remains in a critical condition in hospital. His family issued a statement saying that despite his “life-changing injuries” being severe, “his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact”.

Index on Censorship has long been a supporter of Salman Rushdie and fully support his right to freedom of expression, as we do for other authors and artists. Supporting those who are silenced, threatened and attacked is at the heart of Index’s 50-year-long history. Index condemns this cowardly attack on the author.

Index CEO Ruth Smeeth said, “We are still in shock after the brutal attack on Salman Rushdie last week. While we are relieved to hear he survived, we know the path to recovery will be long and our thoughts go out to him and his family. We consider Salman part of the Index community. We were instrumental in the campaign against the fatwa and Salman has in turn written regularly for our magazine. He is a fierce defender of free expression and his writing, which is beloved by so many, is a testament to the power of words themselves.”

She added, “The violence committed against him is an awful reminder that the fight for freedom of expression continues and we are as committed as ever to campaigning for a world in which acts such as these never happen.”

Your messages of support

 

m1

Censorship is unacceptable at the best of times, but censorship by bullying, threats, physical violence and murder is an abomination. It is the resort of those who are insecure and intellectually immature.

The attack on Salman Rushdie is an unforgivable example of what, if not resisted everywhere and always, would radically impoverish the world by silencing its art, thought and literature.

The closed-minded seek not only to impose censorship but to frighten those who think differently from them into self-censorship. They must be resisted. Rushdie is on the front lines of this struggle: we owe him our gratitude and unequivocal support.

A C Grayling, London
m2

Hang in there dear Salman. Not only ‘because you’re worth it’, but to shame and defeat these murderous bastards.

Judith Vidal-Hall, London
m3

I used to run one of the most prestigious visiting writers series in the country. Of all the famous, unfamous, and infamous writers we had at our campus, Mr. Rushdie was by far the most gracious and generous regarding time spent with students. He made a lasting impression on me as well as all of my students. Hang in there, Mr. Rushdie. We are pulling for you.

Norman Minnick, Indianapolis
m1

I condemn this brutal and primitive attack on humanity and freedom of artistic expression. I wish Salman Rushdie a speedy recovery.

Ersan Pekin, Ankara
m2

One appropriate response to this act of horrific philistinism will be the publication of your next novel. I look forward for to buying my copy on the day of its release.

Michael Collins, London
m3

I stand with Salman Rushdie and completely support his right to freedom of expression. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and all who love him. May we all follow his example and speak our hearts and minds.

Vicki Robinson, Chester
m1

I am in awe of your immense courage, which has been an inspiration to so many people for over thirty-three years. Best wishes for a complete recovery!

Lenny Cavallaro, Methuen, MA
m2

Hang in there dear Salman. Not only ‘because you’re worth it’, but to shame and defeat these murderous bastards.

Judith Vidal-Hall, London
m3

Many more years of brilliant writing and inspirational living.

John Glaves-Smith, Stoke-on-Trent
m1

Wishing you a speedy recovery Mr. Rushdie. You are in our thoughts.

Siobhán Casey, Ireland
m2

Debate is an essential part of civil society. In the words of Audre Lorde, ‘your silence will not protect you.’ Get well soon.

Jess Silverstone, London
m3

The right of writers, poets and artists, above all, to express themselves freely is the precious bedrock of a free and open society. Threaten or remove this right, as have so many countries around the world, and you condemn their people to lives of fear, deceit and unhappiness, governed by tyranny and corruption. The weakest people in such societies suffer the most. We must speak up now, and always, for them and challenge intolerance even when it is difficult and dangerous to do so. I support Salman Rushdie's freedom to write about whatever he wants, and applaud Index's work to ensure anyone's right to speak out without danger to their lives.

Anonymous
m1

Salman Rushdie is a very valuable writer. We love him. He is ostracized by some people because of his thoughts.

Akif Genc, UK
m2

I supported the campaign in 1989 and I believe ever stronger in freedom of expression, including the freedom to offend.

Stephen Goldring, London
m3

There can be no freedom without freedom of expression. Our hearts and prayers are with you. Get well soon Salman!

Kelly Duda, Los Angeles
m1

The attack on Mr. Rushdie is reprehensible and inexcusable, and his assailant needs to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and we have to be sure to send a message that these kinds of attacks on the very nature of free speech and expression will not and cannot be tolerated in any capacity. We have to acknowledge that the very fatwa issued by the former Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran (the same responsible for holding the reins of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the kidnapping and torture of American diplomats and civilians for over 400 days in Tehran at the end of the 1970s) is at the very HEART of this attack on Mr. Rushdie, decades after it was issued! I am an American living in an America where our own ability to express ourselves is under grave assault and the fact that this took place in New York on Mr. Rushdie makes me hang my head for my country. Americans need to wake up and smell the coffee. Godspeed in your recovery, Salman Rushdie.

Dave Beavers, Texas
m2

You will survive this and prove the pen is mightier than the sword Mr Rushdie. My thoughts are with you, your family and friends.

Stephen Hoffman, UK
m3

Salman Rushdie, your stand for free speech and thought will live long beyond the small-minded hate that too often drives or shelters in movements of power... religion, politics and business. Your attackers and detractors put themselves well below you. You shine.

Tony Wilson, Bristol
m1

Thank you for your courage, creativity, and moral clarity. Free speech remains the first, most fundamental freedom. Salman Rushdie has courageously led the struggle for writers to share their work for decades. We can't let the least tolerant, the least creative and the most dogmatic determine what we read and how we live.

Eric Roth, Los Angeles
m2

Get well soon.. true fan from India.

Janki Telivala, India
m3

Absolutely appalling what happened to you. Dark times indeed when freedom of expression is attacked. Without the freedom to think and express ourselves as human beings, every other freedom we have can be taken away. Glad you are recovering. Take care. Solidarity.

Dave Rendle, Cardigan
m1

I'm in the middle of reading Languages of Truth. Keep telling the truth, Mr. Rushdie, in all the languages of the world. Very best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Marjorie, Canada
m2

I passionately hope that you recover from this brutal stabbing. I don't suppose you wanted to become a symbol of freedom of expression, let alone a martyr to it, but that's what you've become. It seems that the fatwa against you has now been extended to allow all writers to be bullied, online and offline, by anyone who wants to be offended. I was particularly shocked to discover that the man who tried to murder you had only read two pages of your work. As a novelist, I feel it's our imaginations that are under attack. Thank you for standing up for all of us.

Miranda Miller, London
m3

Really appalled by the attack on Salman Rushdie. Who feels that they have the right to extinguish the life of another for any man created belief system?

Bryan Hillan, Hertfordshire
m1

Thank you for your dedication, your striving, to embrace the journey of your convictions that have made you you. When I read the news the other day (oh boy), my brain became abuzz with concern that this was yet another screaming trauma our universe was meant to bear? For what? ...Aye exclaiming so is no less rhetorical than exclaiming; what rot! ...Nethertheless, my heart beats better for the news that your energies persevere! Rest in peace and then blaze back into our lives with oil and grease! GA YAU!

Laura, Sweden
m2

Full support for Salman Rushdie and a sincere hope for a speedy and full recovery from a senseless assault and attempted murder.

Granville Williams, editor, MediaNorth
m3

The despicable armed assassin who tried to kill an unarmed man, a great writer, has left all civilised people aghast. I know I speak for all who are in anxiety about Salman Rushdie’s condition in hospital, as we wait to hear that he will make a strong recovery which will enable him to write many more wonderful and courageously outspoken books. Thank you Salman for your ongoing defence of freedom of expression and for the glory you have brought to literature.

Nayantara Sahgal, author, India
m1

Salman, Your courage in living freely and refusing to submit is an example to us all. Your rightly recognised that we cannot, as individuals or a society, be cowed by violent extremism or afford to place religion off limits for critical examination, literature, art or satire. Pandering to fundamentalism is not a road to an open, tolerant or peaceful society. We can't match the terrorist’s fanaticism, but we must match their resolve. Citizens of all faiths and beliefs need to stand side by side and demonstrate that we hold as firmly to our core values and freedoms as they hold to their warped extremist ideologies. No more half-hearted commitments to free speech. No more pandering to offence takers. And no more victim blaming. Let's never lose sight of the fact that the responsibility for violence lies with those who perpetrate it. You once said that the writer's great weapon is the truth and integrity of their voice. The best way we can show solidarity with you is by never allowing that voice to be silenced. Salman, I salute you.

Stephen Evans, London
m2

All the best to you, my hero! I have long admired you for daring to stand up for the freedom of the individual to think their own thoughts at all times - a brave warrior against mindless groupthink and psychological slavery. You are a beacon of light for humanity in these dark days of mandatory homogeneity of thought and enforced conformity. From one warrior against cultism to another - I love and salute you!

Katy Morgan-Davies, Leeds
m3

"to will is to disagree; not to submit; to dissent." - so salman rushdie's the satanic verses speaking of what it is that human beings do - strong liberal democracies facilitate dissent - censorship has no place in democracies - rushdie stood up to those in the uk and usa who pressured him not to publish a paperback edition of the offending book - we should celebrate him for that act of dissent - thank him for enriching our lives - and take courage from his example when defending freedom of expression - we owe salman rushdie a great deal -

Jonathan Dronsfield, London
m1

Thank you for being you, Mr. Rushdie. You've been an asset to the world in general and my students in particular. Hang in there!

Maurice Austin
m2

Never give in and never give up - the freedom of mind and expression must not lose to narrow-minded hate and intolerance.

Torsten Westh, Denmark
m3

Language is courage, you wrote. The ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true. So I think, write and declare my truths: thank you for your books and essays and courage, get well soon.

Maria Timiaan, Middelburg, The Netherlands
m1

Dear Salman I hope you have good company while you recover. Someone to share a joke with. Someone who’ll take on those tasks that you just need doing. Someone to bring you just the right cup of tea. Someone who’ll save quirky stories from the news to read to you. Someone who’ll pick up their phone anytime just to comfort you with their voice. I am thinking of you and wishing you a steady recovery. May your heart continue to beat strong and your imagination roam free, even while your body rests and heals. With kind regards

Nicola Spurr, London
m2

Dear Mr. Rushdie, I am sending you this wish for your rapid recovery. I read the Satanic Verses because it had been banned and a fatwa put on your head. What I found was a good piece of writing, good enough that I have continued to read most of your other literature. I was especially impressed with the sensitivity and insight you showed in Shalomar the Clown, and as a comment on the follies of theocratic idealism. I hope to read more of your work in the future. You have shown a particular courage with the continuation of your work which is inspiring to all. Do get well, and go in peace.

Mike Van Note, USA
m3

Mr. Rushdie, I am praying for your recovery. People of good will around the world support you and your fundamental human right to speak and write freely, expressing your opinions and beliefs without fear. Your gift for writing is admired by many, and we all hope you will be well enough to speak and write again very soon. I Stand With Salman

Darla Bedford Moe, Sacramento
m1

The best way to show support for and solidarity with Salman Rushdie is to buy his books.

Britta Böhler, Cologne
m2

Sending loving and healing thoughts to you as a member of PEN. You are a wonderful, inspiring writer and a hero of free expression. May you have a full and complete recovery, with the best possible medical outcome. Love and solidarity to you from a reader of your great novels and essays

Marion Lipshutz, Poughkeepsie
m3

The reprehensible attack on Sir Salman Rushdie is not only an act of cowardice but also smacks of intolerance of the right to speech. The assailant knifed him while he was engaged in an act as peaceful as speaking in full view of a dumbstruck audience. Wish Sir Salman a speedy recovery, a long life and years of wonderful literature that only he can keep giving his readers.

Prabuddha Chaudhuri, Kolkata
m1

Dear Salman, I am sending so much love to you. Through your luminous work, your wisdom, humour and courage shines. You have given me the courage to follow my passion and to write my first book at 52. I am so grateful to you for the inspiration you have given to me over the years. I applaud you for sharing your gifts with the world and for facing all that you have faced. Humanity needs you now more than ever as a greatly revered elder. May your recovery be gentle, swift and all encompassing. May compassion uplift your spirit as you continue to step beyond fear, with ease, love and softness as your tireless companions. With all my love and respect

Sally Birch, Australia
m2

I was horrified by the attack on your life. I hope you will recover and will be able to produce some more great works of literature. Two particular reactions I saw on TV struck me. One was on Dateline London in which all guests said to be saddened about the attack, but rejected your criticism on the Prophet. I was shocked. Another was on the German TV, in a show Literarische Quartet , a show in which four critics review recently published novels. Because of what happened to you The Satanic Verses were reviewed. All critics - one was a Muslim btw - praised it as a great work of fiction.

Dirk De Pril, Belgium
m3

I condemn this brutal attack on humanity and freedom of speech.

Farzad Maghami, Melbourne
m1

From Midnight's Children to Satanic Verses to Haroun and the Sea of Stories and beyond, your imagination, humour, and mouth-watering use of language have enriched my life. Be well.

Raymond Modiz, Switzerland
m2

My heart broke when I learned that you were attacked. Wishing you a speedy recovery and that you know how loved and respected you are.

Joelle Johnson, Calgary
m3

May the literary establishment take inspiration from your courage and defend free speech against all its enemies.

Ruth Dudley Edwards, London
m1

My best wishes to Salman, a great voice for freedom, after this truly shocking incident. The world is going nuts, but hopefully these few words help to convince there also still are a lot of people that do believe in Salman and his message. And love and reason will prevail at the end. Thanks for your courage in this battle. Best of luck and a speedy recovery, my dear man.

Roel Knol, Leiden
m2

It is brave ex-Muslims, such as yourself, who are the hope of the world. Your example inspires all of us in the anti-Islamist movement, and the attack on you will only stiffen our opposition. I am ashamed that the attack on you occurred on American soil. I know you are an atheist but I will be praying for your safety, health and happiness.

Michael Jurgens, Colorado
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