FIRE statement on the violent attack of Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution

August 12, 2022

The violent, on-stage attack on author Salman Rushdie is a horrible reminder that when people stop settling their disagreements with words, they too often try to do so with weapons. It is free speech that makes it possible for us to be free people. Unfortunately, there are those who wish us not to be free, who would rather use the assassin’s veto to compel belief and silence dissent.

Mr. Rushdie has long understood free speech’s necessity. He is among its strongest advocates: “Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game,” he once said. “Free speech is life itself.”

We wish Mr. Rushdie a speedy recovery — his voice will never be silenced.