Scotland Police will investigate the threat J.K. Rowling received on Twitter after posting condolences to a fellow novelist on Friday. Salman Rushdie, 75, was stabbed while preparing to speak at the Chautauqua Institution, a nonprofit education and retreat center in Northwestern New York.
AP reported a man stormed the stage and began to assault Rushdie, whose 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” earned him an Iranian fatwa or religious decree that called for his death. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued the death sentence in 1989, claiming the book insulted Islam. A $3 million bounty for the fulfillment of the fatwa would be the killer’s reward.
Initial reports state the attacker was punching or stabbing the Indian-born author: It was later confirmed he was stabbed roughly 10 times.
Rowling’s Twitter thread started with “Horrifying news.” She followed the Associated Press breaking news retweet: “Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”
Horrifying news. https://t.co/i5poClOImW
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 12, 2022
User @MeerAsifAzizl responded to Rowling’s condolences: “Don’t worry, you are next.” “The tweet was later deleted, and the account was suspended by Sunday evening,” The New York Times reported.
The “Harry Potter” award-winning author confronted Twitter’s delay in suspending the account on Saturday. She had been threatened on the social media platform before, so she is accustomed to Twitter’s hesitancy in suspending accounts that violate its rules. Regardless, Rowling challenged Twitter: “Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence,” read her post addressed to @TwitterSupport.
Twitter did not respond to The New York Times’ inquiry.
Rowling shared screenshots of the threatening posts on the social media platform. She thanked everyone for their supportive messages and told them the police were involved. A Police Scotland representative assured the public that after receiving the threat report, authorities launched an investigation, reported VOA News.
Rushdie is expected to survive his attack; he was removed from his post-surgical ventilator on Sunday, according to his agent. However, his recovery will be lengthy due to the severity of his wounds. “But his condition is headed in the right direction,” added his agent, Andrew Wylie.
The accused attacker, Iranian sympathizer Hadi Matar was detained right away. On Saturday, the 24-year-old pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder and assault charges.
Rushdie will have an arduous recovery; his liver was wounded during the attack. He “is in danger of losing an eye,” according to Deadline. Additionally, the novelist suffered nerve damage in his arm.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The New York Times: U.K. Police Investigate Online Threat to J.K. Rowling; by Kurtis Lee
VOA: Scotland’s Police Investigate Threat Made to JK Rowling After Rushdie Tweet
CNN: Suspect in Salman Rushdie attack pleads not guilty to second-degree attempted murder and assault charges, attorney says; by Paul P. Murphy, Aya Elamroussi, Nicki Brown, Samantha Beech, Liam Reilly, and Ray Sanchez
Deadline: Salman Rushdie On “Road To Recovery,” His Agent Says; by Bruce Haring