Democracy: Rushdie: Artists are targets of authoritarian governments

Democracy: Rushdie: Artists are targets of authoritarian governments

Salman Rushdie is a great supporter of freedom of expression. However, the situation of artists in the world worries the writer greatly.

Writer Salman Rushdie (“The Satanic Verses”, 76) says he is very concerned about the safety of artists. The world is becoming a much angrier place, “where people seem to resort to violence much more easily than was the case before,” Rushdie told the German Press Agency in Berlin.

“And of course I’m very concerned about this, especially because a lot of it is directed against artists of various kinds, not just writers but also musicians and even visual artists in different parts of the world.” The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, for example, got into big problems in China.

“So artists seem to have become targets of authoritarian governments all over the world. And that’s very worrying,” Rushdie said. The more authoritarian a government or head of state is, the more they want to be able to control stories. “They say: This is how things are and this is what you must do and what you must not do. And if you deviate from it, then we will persecute you.” Writers and artists are people who do not fit into the worldview of those in power.

Rushdie is one of the most important writers of our time. He was critically injured by a man with a knife at an event in the USA in 2022. In his new book “Knife”, the Indian-born author deals with the attack in which he lost his right eye and suffered other serious injuries. In 1989, the then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for the author’s murder because of the novel “The Satanic Verses.”

Source: Stern

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