Salman Rushdie
Salman RushdieREUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

British author Salman Rushdie warned that a Palestinian state would be a “Taliban-like state,” The Telegraph reported.

Speaking during a literary festival in Berlin, Rushdie said, according to local broadcaster RBB, “I have been in favor of a separate Palestinian state most of my life, since the 1980s.”

“But,” he continued, “if there were a Palestinian state now, it would be run by Hamas and we would have a Taliban-like state – a satellite state of Iran. Is this what the progressive movements of the Western left want to create?”

Rushdie, who met German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday, said he understood concerns over the suffering in Gaza but added, “I would like some protesters to mention the role of Hamas, and that’s a terrorist organization. It’s quite strange that political progressives support a fascist terrorist group.”

On the pro-Palestinian Arab protests that have swept university campuses around the world, he said, “It is also necessary to ensure that other students do not feel unsafe as a result, or that the protests slide into antisemitic discourse, which has happened in many cases.”

Since 1989, Rushdie has been the target of an Iranian fatwa (religious edict) calling for his murder for allegedly blaspheming Islam and its prophet Mohammed in his book "The Satanic Verses."

In 2012, an Iranian foundation added another $500,000 to the reward for killing Rushdie, raising the total bounty for his death to $3.3 million.

Rushdie spent a decade in hiding after Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued the 1989 fatwa against him for his book.

Although Iran's foreign ministry in 1998 assured Britain that Iran would do nothing to implement the fatwa, current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in January 2005 reaffirmed that Rushdie was considered an apostate whose murder was authorized under Islam.

In August of 2022, Rushdie was stabbed while on stage at a literary festival in Western New York. He was blinded in his right eye and his left hand was badly injured.

The suspect, Hadi Matar, was charged with attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

Matar said after the stabbing he didn’t think the author would survive. He would not say if he was inspired by the fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death.