A South African author was hit in the face with a brick last week for daring to say she likes the writing style of Salman Rushdie. The Hindustan Times reports:
An Indian-origin author in South Africa was brutally assaulted and verbally abused after she praised controversial writer Salman Rushdie whose work has angered Muslims around the world.
No. That bad phrasing again. Some theocratic Muslims decided to make an issue of one of Salman Rushdie’s novels, and worked up other Muslims to join in. His work did not just straightforwardly “anger Muslims around the world.”
Zainub Priya Dala was hit in the face with a brick last week after she praised Rushdie’s writing at a school in Durban, a city on the country’s east coast.
Dala had been due to launch her novel What About Meera in the city on Saturday, which was ironically Human Rights Day in South Africa, but had to postpone it after being injured.
That is ironic, isn’t it.
The allegation is that three men forced her car off the road as she was leaving the festival.
When she stopped her vehicle, two of the men came to the car, one allegedly putting a knife to her throat while the other struck her in the face with a brick as he verbally abused her.
Dala said she believed the attack occurred as a result of a comment she made during a writing forum for schools earlier in the week, when she and two other authors were asked to comment on their favourite authors.
She replied that she liked the styles of Rushdie and Indian author Arundhati Roy, which led to a number of teachers and students attending the workshop walking out in protest.
Godalmighty how squalid.
Steve Connolly, managing director of Random House and her publisher, said: “We condemn completely the brutish attack on author ZP Dala.” “Have we reached such a state of intolerance that we cannot listen to one writer profess admiration for another without wanting to attack her with a brick and a knife?
“It is ironic that at a time when the communities of Durban are welcoming writers, some elements are attacking those writers who hold different views. We must not let this shameful and violent bigotry prevail,” Connolly said.
Men, this is. Using a knife and a brick. Three men with weapons attacking one woman with no weapons – because she uttered an opinion about literary style. The squalor is unfathomable in every sense.
Thanks to Kausik for telling me about it.