Dear Salman, as you lie on life support after a horrendous and base attack, please accept these words sent out to the world in deep solidarity and sympathy with you,

For years you have been an icon of free speech, in your writings but also in your activities in defence of beleaguered authors with the International Parliament of Writers and PEN America. You are Indian, British and a US citizen, but first and foremost you are the perfect citizen of the world. You have enriched the English language with the creative multiplicity of styles and registers in your novels and essays: novels such as Midnight’s Children, Shalimar the Clown and The Golden House are unforgettable. I believe you are one of the finest of living writers and deserve every award you have received. In the wake of the fatwa I vowed I would read your writings as they came out, and publish on them, and I have kept my promise.

Despite the fatwa and those who defend it, over the years you have bravely refused to give up or give in. What they can never kill will go on and your struggle will never die, for others will take it up. 

May the Universe be with you in your hour of need,

I sign this letter with hope for you here and now and admiration for all your work and commitment over so many years,

Your loyal reader, 

Christopher Rollason

Note: This piece was published one day after the attack on Rushdie in New York on 12 August 2022. Various texts on Rushdie can be found on this blog.

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