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JK Rowling receives death threat after supporting novelist Salman Rushdie

JK Rowling said she is working with police after receiving death threat for reacting to Salman Rushdie's attack

August 13, 2022 1:25pm

Updated: August 15, 2022 6:03am

British writer JK Rowling said on Saturday that she received a death threat from an Islamist extremist after reacting to the attack on novelist Salman Rushdie in New York.

The Harry Potter author, 57, shared screenshots on Twitter of a message from a user who had written "don't worry, you're next" in response to a tweet in which she said she felt "very bad" after hearing the news and that she hoped the novelist "recovers."

Rowling tagged the Twitter support account in the post and said, "Any chance of support?"

The author sent a thank you to her followers for the support messages her fans wrote and said that the police were already aware of the threat. 

"To all those who send messages of support: thank you. The police are intervening (they were already intervening in other threats)."

The threat comes from user Meer Asif Aziz, who describes himself on Twitter as a "student, social activist, political activist and research activist" based in Karachi.

According to the British newspaper Dailymail, he has made tasteless "jokes" about the destruction of Israel and called Putin-invaded Ukraine and Pakistan's main geopolitical rival, India, "terrorist states."

The famous author has already received death threats for her views on transgender rights.

Rowling is one of several artists who have reacted after the shocking attack on Rushdie this week.

The British writer of Indian origin was stabbed while giving a lecture at a cultural center in Chautauqua, a town in northwestern New York state. After the attack, which occurred shortly before 11:00 local time, Rushdie was taken by helicopter to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

Police immediately arrested the assailant, whom they identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairfield, New Jersey, without detailing his motives.

Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen, police said. Several attendees at the event rushed at the assailant before he was stopped by a police officer on the scene. A doctor administered first aid to the writer before emergency services arrived.