Quebec writers have responded to the attack on author Salman Rushdie, calling the stabbing a horrific one and claiming that freedom of speech is under threat.
Montreal author Mariam Pal spent Sunday afternoon signing copies of her new book, Ballet Isn’t For Muslim Girls, when Rushdie stabbed her in upstate New York. That was unexpected.
“Because I haven’t thought about him in that regard for years,” she said.
Rushdie was stabbed during a lecture on Friday, damaging his liver and seriously injuring his arm and eye.
His 1988 book Satanic Verses was considered blasphemy by many Muslims, and the Iranian leader at the time issued an edict in 1989 calling for the author’s death.
Rushdie has returned to a somewhat normal life after years of hiding, but Friday’s attack came as little surprise to Quebec author Louise Penney.
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“He has lived with that threat for a long time. In fact, the environment we live in is very divided,” she told Global News.
Some writers, and not just writers, believe that voicing an opinion is now dangerous.
“It’s very sad,” Pal said.
The reason, according to Montreal playwright Rahul Varma, is that people don’t listen enough to each other.
“There is a concentration of extremism from both the left and the right that is basically stifling the right way of thinking,” he explained.
Penny said she wasn’t afraid for her own safety, but admitted to pausing after the attack before publicly saying she had purchased Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and other books.
“It’s sad to have to think, ‘Should I buy it?’ Will there be blowbacks, will I be attacked?” she pointed to the acclaimed novelist. “I mean, she saw J.K. Rowling threatening her life just by saying she hoped Salman Rushdie was okay.
But she stresses that silence is not the answer.
“Silence is as much an enemy as guns and knives,” said Penny. There are the last words of poet Seamus Heaney, which he said to his wife on his deathbed. And I think it’s time for all of us to remember that we shouldn’t be afraid. “
Quebec writer reacts to Salman Rushdie attack – Montreal
Source link Quebec writer reacts to Salman Rushdie attack – Montreal