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Rushdie’s suspected attacker ‘changed’ by 2018 Lebanon trip, says mother

15 13 3

LONDON — The suspected attacker of British author Salman Rushdie was transformed by a trip to Lebanon in 2018, when he became more religious and less outgoing, his mother told the UK Daily Mail newspaper this week.

Lebanese-born Silvana Fardos, of Fairview, New Jersey, described her 24-year-old son Hadi Matar as “a moody introvert,” increasingly fixated with Islam after the month-long visit to see his estranged father.

“One time, he argued with me, asking why I encouraged him to get an education instead of focusing on religion,” she said.

“He was angry that I did not introduce him to Islam from a young age,” Fardos, 46, said in an interview published online Sunday.

Matar was arrested at the scene of the attack on Rushdie, 75, at a literary event in upstate New York on Friday.

He pleaded not guilty the following day to charges of attempted murder and assault with a weapon, and is being held without bail.

Prosecutors have described a planned, premeditated assault on Rushdie, who was stabbed approximately 10 times.

Police have provided no information about the suspect’s background or his possible motive.

Award-winning author Rushdie has faced death threats for more than 30 years for “The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, demanding his death. An Iranian foundation had put up a bounty of over $3........

© The Times of Israel

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