Rushdie assassin’s mother reveals: ‘He locked himself in the basement’ | politics


Rushdie Assassin’s Mother Revealed |

“He locked himself in the basement”

My son the assassin…

According to his mother, the assassin Hadi Matar (24), arrested for the knife attack on star author Salman Rushdie (75, “The Satanic Verses”), apparently became radicalized during a visit to Lebanon, reports the British newspaper “Daily Mail”.

Silvana Fardos, who lives in Fairview, New Jersey, said her son was “changed a lot” as a result of his trip to the country of her birth. “I expected him to come back motivated to finish school, graduate and get a job,” said the mother, referring to Matar’s 2018 trip to Lebanon.

Instead, Hadi “locked himself in the basement”. Her son isolated himself and hardly spoke to the rest of the family for months. “He sleeps during the day and gets up at night and eats,” Fardos described her son.

Matar repeatedly stabbed Rushdie with a knife at a literary event in upstate New York on Friday. The British-Indian writer was seriously injured and required emergency surgery, but is now on the mend.

Star author Salman Rushdie is on the mend after Friday’s knife attack

Photo: Henning Kaiser/dpa

In a first court hearing on the charge of attempted murder, the assassin declared that he was not guilty. He did not comment on his motives. Fardos, who works as a teaching assistant and translator, said in the interview that she was Muslim by birth, but neither religious nor political. Before the attack, she had never heard of Rushdie and his book The Satanic Verses, which many Muslims condemned.

Fardos told the Daily Mail her son blamed her for encouraging him to get an education instead of emphasizing his religion. He was “angry that I didn’t introduce him to Islam at a young age”. Otherwise her son was very quiet and introverted: “Everyone loved him”.

According to the Daily Mail, Matar was born in the United States and grew up in California. His parents divorced in 2004. His father then returned to Lebanon.