Speaking nine months after a man repeatedly stabbed him onstage in New York, novelist Salman Rushdie warned that Western nations face the most serious threats in his lifetime to the freedoms of expression and publishing.
The British Book Awards presented Rushdie, 75, with the “Freedom to Publish” award on Monday. In a video message to the award ceremony from New York, Rushdie said, “I think we live in a moment where freedom of expression and freedom to publish have not in my lifetime been under such threat in the countries of the West.”
The ability to write what you want, read what you want, and not have it decided for you by someone else is part of the freedom to publish, which is also, of course, a part of the freedom to read and write.
The British author, who was born in India, was attacked onstage in August 2022 while giving a lecture in New York State.
One of his hands was impaired, and he was blind in one eye.
Since the 1988 publication of his fourth book, “The Satanic Verses,” which contained passages that were deemed to be blasphemous, Rushdie has been the target of death threats related to the book. Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after the then-supreme leader of Iran issued a fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to kill him, also made reference to the prohibition of some books in some U.S. libraries and classrooms at schools.
“Up until recently, there was a fair amount of publishing freedom in Western nations. I have to see the extraordinary attack on libraries and books for kids in schools while I’m sitting here in the United States, he said. “The assault on the concept of libraries themselves We must be very aware of it and fight against it fiercely because it is quite alarming.”
More than a thousand books have been taken off U.S. shelves, many of which deal with “racism and LGBTQ” issues. The last two years as a result of pressure from conservative parents and officials, according to the writers’ organisation “PEN America.”