The Slovenia Times

Slovenian PEN condemns attack on Salman Rushdie


Ljubljana - The Slovenian PEN Centre has joined writers, celebrities and politicians in the West in condeming yesterday's attack on award-winning author Salman Rushdie at an onstage event in the US, which has left him with severe stab wounds in hospital.

"Salman Rushdie is an inspiration to all those who fight against obscurantism and the abuse of religion for political purposes," Slovenian PEN president Tanja Tuma has written in response to the attack.

She added that the "attack on Rushdie and his body is an attack on his work and symbolises the attack on the freedom of speech and of creativity".

She pointed to International PEN's statement on the attack in which its president Burhan Sonmez said "no one should be attacked, let alone attacked for peacefully expressing their views".

Tuma, who is also acting head of the International Writers for Peace Committee, said Rushdie had chaired in the 1990s International Cities of Asylum, a predecessor of ICORN's network of refuges for persecuted writers, a member of which is Ljubljana.

Rushdie, the 75-year-old Indian-born author, has often been a target of death threats after he published The Satanic Verses in 1988.

The novel was inspired by the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad and some Muslims saw it blasphemous and sacrilegious. In 1989, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the deaths of Rushdie and his publishers, which pushed Rushdie into years of hiding.


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