Earlier this week, Salman Rushdie’s first interview after the shocking attack on the author last August in New York- was published, immediately amassing a huge audience worldwide. The accompanying portrait of the author which shows him in eye-patch glasses was widely shared online. Soon after, a statement attributed to Rushdie, purportedly warning people that Islam “will not rest till every other society, culture, and religion are either annihilated or converted,” went viral. Newschecker found that the viral statement has been falsely attributed to the author.
The full text of the viral remark allegedly by Rushdie reads, “The large majority of peaceful Muslims don’t matter because I was attacked by just one Muslim who followed Quran. All religions are not the same because they have not codified death to whoever doesn’t believe in their religion. In my life, I want to warn the world that Islam will not rest till every other society, culture, and religion is either annihilated or converted. (Sic)”
While several Twitter and Facebook users shared the entire quote attributing it to Rushdie, others shared a trimmed version of the same.
Links to such posts can be seen here, here, here and here.
The Attack On Rushdie
The Booker Prize winner was stabbed multiple times on stage during a literary event in New York last August by one 24-year-old New Jersey resident Hadi Matar. Rushdie was rushed to the hospital after sustaining severe injuries in the attack,and was under treatment for a while. Rushdie lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand following the attack, while Matar later pleaded not guilty in the case.
Following the assassination attempt on Rushdie, many were reminded of Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989, with a bounty of more than $3m being offered for anyone who killed the author. The fatwa had come after the publication of Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, which some Muslims saw as blasphemous.
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A Google search for “Salman Rushdie,” “warn” & “Islam” did not yield any credible news reports on the alleged statement by the novelist. We also looked up certain phrases from the remark attributed to Rushdie,- “I was attacked by just one Muslim who followed Quran,” “Islam will not rest till every other…is either annihilated or converted,” & “All religions…have not codified death to whoever doesn’t believe in their religion” – which did not led to any but reports either.
Furthermore, we skimmed through the multiple reports on Rushdie’s first interview since the stabbing attack, but did not find any outlet quoting him warning against Islam “on his life.” Few such reports can be seen here, here, here and here.
Additionally, a report by The Guardian, dated February 6, 2023, stated that Rushdie “solely blamed Matar (Hadi Matar, 24-year-old who had stabbed Rushdie last year) for the stabbing.” The report said, “In the New Yorker interview conducted by fellow author David Remnick, Rushdie said he solely blamed Matar for the stabbing.“I blame him,” Rushdie told Remnick …”
Following this, we scanned through the official social media accounts of Salman Rushdie and did not find any such comments against Islam. However, we did come across a tweet by the author clarifying that the viral statement has been falsely attributed to him.
In a tweet, dated February 7, 2023, Rushdie shared a graphic carrying the viral statement and wrote, “Fake quote. Not said by me.” An archived version of the same can be seen here.
We could thus conclude that an anti-Islam statement has been falsely attributed to Salman Rushdie. The author has himself clarified that he did not make any such comments.
Report By The Guardian, Dated February 6, 2023
Tweet By Salman Rushdie, Dated February 7, 2023
|Claim: Salman Rushdie Warn The World Against Islam|
Claimed By: Social Media Users
Fact Check: False
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