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Following the brutal attack on Salman Rushdie in August, Index invited people to send him messages that we will share with him

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, at the time of going to press, remained 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 has collaborated with Salman for decades now 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 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.”

MIRANDA MILLER in London said, “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.”

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.”

People from around the world are sharing their messages of support for the writer on our site – to be passed onto him.

A C GRAYLING wrote, “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.”

He added, “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

DAVE BEAVERS, from Texas, wrote: “The attack on 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.”

He added, “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 Rushdie, decades after it was issued.”

You can share your own messages with us at


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