Senator Borrello Denounces Attack on Author Salman Rushdie

CHAUTAUQUA INSITUTION – Senator George Borrello denounced the attack on author Salman Rushdie, saying there is no room for religious extremism in America. 

 “This shocking attack on a celebrated and noted author, apparently prompted by fundamentalist extremism, has no place in America,” Sen. Borrello said. “The Founding Fathers fled tyranny and knew all too well the dangers of absolutism and religious zealotry. There is no room, in a free society, for beliefs that demand that you kill someone who disagrees with you.” 

 Rushdie wrote Satanic Verses. Published in 1988, the author said the book was inspired by the Prophet Mohammed. In 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran and a Shiite scholar, issued a fatwa calling for the death of Rushdie and his publishers.

Sen. Borrello recalls buying the controversial book back when it was first released.  

“I bought the book, as did so many others, as a show of support for Mr. Rushdie and for the basic human right of free speech,” Sen. Borrello said. “My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Rushdie and my hope is that he has a speedy recovery.”

 According to press reports, Rushdie fell through a stage barrier following the attack. Police tackled his attacker while EMTs at the scene treated Rushdie’s wounds. 

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known, and a lone male assailant is in police custody.