Secular Society

Attempted Assassination of Salman Rushdie (Press Release)

The South African Secular Society (SASS) is shocked and saddened by the incident on Friday, 12 August 2022, when the author Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed at a literature festival in New York.

Sir Salman is a novelist whose work includes the 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. The book sparked controversy in the Muslim world. His words were regarded as blasphemous and mocking the Islamic faith. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then spiritual leader of revolutionary Iran, condemned the book publicly. In 1989 he issued a Fatwa on Sir Salman’s life – A reward was offered for his murder. Subsequently, there have been several attempts on the life of the author. 

SASS is relieved that Sir Salman is recovering from this heinous attack. However, in the strongest possible terms, SASS will continue to condemn acts of violence perpetuated by those who oppose free speech. SASS also denounces that criticisms of faith, whether satirical or otherwise, are used to justify such reprehensible assaults and brutality. 

SASS wishes Sir Salman Rushdie a speedy recovery.