Salman Rushdie stabbing suspect is of Lebanese descent: Report

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Local authorities in Lebanon’s southern village of Yaroun said that Salman Rushdie stabbing suspect Hadi Matar is of Lebanese descent, Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported on Saturday.

Ali Qassem Tehfe, the chief of Yaroun’s municipality, told the newspaper that Matar’s father and mother are from Yaroun, noting, however, that Matar was born in the US and never visited Yaroun.

Rushdie, an Indian-born novelist who spent years in hiding under death threats from Iran because of his writing, was stabbed in the neck onstage at a lecture in New York state on Friday and airlifted to a hospital.

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The suspect was identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, who bought a pass to the event, police said.

Rushdie, who was born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, now Mumbai, before moving to the United Kingdom, has long faced death threats for his fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses.”

Some Muslims said the book contained blasphemous passages. It was banned in many countries with large Muslim populations upon its 1988 publication.

A few months later, Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran's supreme leader, pronounced a fatwa, or religious edict, calling upon Muslims to kill the novelist and anyone involved in the book’s publication for blasphemy.

With Reuters

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