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Salman Rushdie Lost Sight in One Eye, Use of Hand After Stabbing by Islamic Extremist

Author Salman Rushdie has lost the ability to see through one eye as well as the use of one hand after recovering from a stabbing attack by an Islamic extremist.

In August, 24-year-old New Jersey resident Hadi Matar rushed the stage as Rushdie prepared to give a scheduled speech at the Chautauqua Institution, stabbing him in the neck and hospitalizing him. According to his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, Rushdie took three wounds to the neck and another 15 to his chest and torso.

“He’s going to live … That’s the important thing,” Wylie told the Spanish language newspaper El Pais.

Wylie did not discuss Rushdie’s whereabouts, noting the type of attack was often feared as a “principal danger.”

“A random person coming out of nowhere and attacking,” Wylie said. “So you can’t protect against it because it’s totally unexpected and illogical.”

Since the publishing of his book The Satanic Verses in 1987, the India-born British-American novelist has been a target of Islamic extremists, with the Supreme Leader of Iran keeping a $3 million bounty on his head for over 30 years.

The New York Post noted at the time of the attack that sources confirmed Hadi Matar had religious motivations.

He even told the outlet in a jailhouse interview that he hated Rushdie while praising Iran’s supreme leader.

Matar’s mother, Silvana Fardos told the Daily Mail she felt deep sorrow for Rushdie, confessing her son underwent a spiritual radicalism following a trip to Lebanon.

“As I said to the FBI, I’m not going to bother talking to him again,” she said of her son. “He’s responsible for his actions.”

Regarding her son’s religious extremism, Fardos said that she did not push Islam on her children and that Matar grew deeper in his faith as he grew older, undergoing a “change” after a visit to Lebanon in 2018.

“I didn’t push my kids into religion or force anything on my son,” Fardos said. “I don’t know anyone in Iran, all my family are here. I’m living a simple life as a single mom, trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table for my kids.”

Matar had been visiting Lebanon to see his father and became an isolated recluse upon his return.

“I was expecting him to come back motivated, to complete school, to get his degree and a job. But instead he locked himself in the basement,” she said. “He had changed a lot, he didn’t say anything to me or his sisters for months.”

“I couldn’t tell you much about his life after that because he has isolated me since 2018. If I approach him sometimes he says hi, sometimes he just ignores me and walks away,” she added. “One time he argued with me, asking why I encouraged him to get an education instead of focusing on religion. He was angry that I did not introduce him to Islam from a young age.”

Fardos said she knew little about Rushdie prior to the stabbing and that she hopes he recovers.

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