Police look at threat sent to British author JK Rowling after support for Salman Rushdie

Stephen King, the renowned horror writer, was also among the authors who expressed support for Rushdie following knife attack

JK Rowling shared screenshots to Twitter of a message from a user who said she was next. PA/file
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British author JK Rowling is working with police after she received a threat following her support for Salman Rushdie, who was attacked by a knifeman in the US.

Rowling, known for writing the Harry Potter series, was among several literary and political figures who expressed outrage at the attack.

She shared screenshots on Twitter of a message from a user who had written “don't worry you are next” in response to her tweeting that she felt “very sick” after hearing the news and hoped the novelist would “be OK”.

Rowling tagged Twitter's support account in the post and said: “Any chance of some support?”

She later updated her followers on the situation saying: “To all sending supportive messages: thank you. Police are involved (were already involved on other threats).”

Rushdie, a prize-winning author, was stabbed in an attack on Friday in New York state at the Chautauqua Institution.

He was airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery and has been placed on a ventilator. The alleged attacker Hadi Mattar, has been charged with attempted murder.

Mattar was born in the US to Lebanese parents who emigrated from Yaroun, a border village in southern Lebanon, the local mayor, Ali Tehfe, told The Associated Press.

Stephen King, the renowned horror writer, was also among the authors who expressed support for Rushdie: “I hope Salman Rushdie is OK,” he tweeted.

Rushdie was launched to fame after the publication of his 1981 novel Midnight's Children, which won the Booker Prize for its portrayal of colonial and postcolonial India.

The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988. At least 45 people were killed in riots around the world in protests against the novel.

A year after it was published, Iran's former supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the author's death.

A bounty of about $3 million was offered for anyone who killed Rushdie.

He spent nine years in hiding in the UK under a British government protection programme.

In recent years, Rushdie has been trying to live a normal life as a writer, regular on the literary circuit and a champion for freedom of speech.

Iran's government has since distanced itself from the issue.

Updated: August 13, 2022, 7:01 PM
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