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Alleged Salman Rushdie attacker didn’t think author would survive

Alleged Salman Rushdie attacker didnt think author would survive


The crazed New Jersey man who allegedly attacked Salman Rushdie in western New York last week praised Iran’s Ayatollah in an exclusive jailhouse interview with The Post on Tuesday — and admitted he didn’t think the author would live after the attack.

“When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess,” Hadi Matar, of Fairview, NJ, said in a video interview from the Chautauqua County Jail.

Hadi Matar, 24, center, arrives for an arraignment in the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, NY., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
AP
This booking photo provided by the Chautauqua County, N.Y., Sheriff's Department, shows Hadi Matar, of Fairview, N.J.
This booking photo provided by the Chautauqua County, N.Y., Sheriff’s Department, shows Hadi Matar, of Fairview, N.J.
AP

The 24-year-old wouldn’t say if he was inspired by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989 over his controversial book, “The Satanic Verses,” citing a warning by his lawyer.

“I respect the Ayatollah..I think he’s a great person. That’s as far as I will say about that,” Matar said, noting he only “ read like two pages” of Rushdie’s  novel.

“I read a couple pages. I didn’t read the whole thing cover to cover,” he added.

Salman Rushdie was stabbed in an attack during a talk in New York.
Salman Rushdie was stabbed in an attack during a talk in New York.
Getty Images
Law enforcement officers  detain Hadi Matar on Aug. 12, 2022.
Law enforcement officers detain Hadi Matar on Aug. 12, 2022.
AP

Matar denied being in contact with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and said  he was inspired to go to Chautauqua after seeing a tweet announcing Rushdie’s visit sometime in the winter.

“I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person,” he said about Rushdie. “I don’t like him. I don’t like him very much. He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”



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