Famous Author Salman Rushdie, Nearly Killed For Views On Islam, Warns Of New Censorship From ‘Progressive Voices’

Screenshot/YouTube/60 Minutes

Robert McGreevy Contributor
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Salman Rushdie, an Indian-British author who suffered a stabbing allegedly at the hands of a radical Islamic extremist, warned against a growing censorship movement coming from the left in a Sunday night interview with “60 Minutes.”

An Islamic extremist allegedly stabbed Rushdie in Aug. 2022 during a speaking event in New York because he felt Rushdie’s words and book,”The Satanic Verses,” “attacked Islam.” Rushdie suffered more than 15 stab wounds and lost sight in his right eye.

“This is a bad moment for free expression because the attack is coming from so many directions,” Rushdie told Anderson Cooper.

“It used to be the case that very conservative voices were the places from which you would hear that such and such book should be banned or is obscene or is disgusting or whatever … The thing that’s different now is that it’s also coming from progressive voices. That there are progressive voices saying that certain kinds of speech should be not permitted because it offends against this or that vulnerable group,” Rushdie told Cooper.

“There seems to be kind of growing orthodoxy, particularly amongst young people, that censorship in those circumstances is a good thing … one of the arguments that I’ve always tried to make is that if you look at the history of censorship, in places where there has been censorship, the first groups that suffer from that are minority groups. So, to support censorship, in theory, on behalf of vulnerable groups is a very slippery slope. It can lead to the opposite of what you want.”

Rushdie also said that hearing from people who have views differing from our own can be “enormously valuable” and castigated what he called “the offense industry.” (RELATED: J.K. Rowling Receives Death Threats After Speaking Out About Attack On Salman Rushdie)

“Offense has become an aspect of identity politics. My view is it’s very easy for a book to stop offending you. You just shut it. At that point it loses it’s ability to offend you,” Rushdie told Cooper.

His alleged attacker may have had close ties to Iran, analysts told the Daily Caller News Foundation in Aug. 2022. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned Rushdie to death in 1989 due to Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” depiction of Mohammed being “blasphemous.”

An Iranian religious foundation upped the bounty to $3.3 million in Sept. 2012.

Rushdie is one of “the strongest advocates” for free speech, a spokesperson for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) told the Daily Caller News Foundation in 2022.