Police probe death threat against JK Rowling

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Police in Scotland are investigating death threats made against Harry Potter creator JK Rowling over her support for novelist Salman Rushdie who was stabbed on Friday, authorities said.

Reacting to the attack, Rowling tweeted “Horrifying news. Feeling very sick right now. Let him be OK.”

One user wrote in response “don’t worry you are next.” Rowling shared the message and the account was suspended and the post deleted.

The Harry Potter author reassured her followers, thanking them for their support, saying that “police are involved (were already involved on other threats).”

We have received a report of an online threat being made and officers are carrying out enquiries,” a police spokeswoman said.

Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born British-American writer was stabbed on Friday in New York State as he was preparing to give a lecture. A possible motive for the attack is his 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’, which was condemned by some Muslims for its allegedly blasphemous references to Islam and its holy book, the Koran. In 1989, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death, and while Iran officially retracted this edict, an Iranian religious foundation placed a $3.3 million bounty on the writer’s head in 2012.

The suspect in the stabbing is Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old resident of New Jersey. According to preliminary findings, Matar was “sympathetic to Shia extremism and Iran.”

According to Rushdie’s family, the author is now recovering from his injuries in hospital and has been taken off a ventilator. Rushdie is being treated for injuries including three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, and wounds to his right eye and chest. As a result, the novelist may lose his right eye.

JK Rowling was not the only prominent public figure to condemn the assault and offer support to Salman Rushdie. French President Emmanuel Macron and outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson blasted the stabbing, while Stephen King, another famed author, expressed hope that Rushdie is OK. Among others, who sent messages of support, were Neil Gaiman, an English writer, as well as Ian McEwan and Arundhati Roy, both Booker Prize-winning authors.

In the past, Rowling has been criticized for her stance on transgender people. She, in particular, spoke out against the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” in place of the word “women.” This did not sit well with transgender rights activists, who posted a photo of her Edinburgh home on Twitter earlier this year. At the time police refused to take action against the alleged “doxxing,” saying that no criminality was established.

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