South African writer hit in the face with a brick after praising Salman Rushdie

Zainub Priya Dala last week praised Rushdie’s writing and the next day three men attacked her calling her 'Rushdie's b----'  A South African author was hit in the face with a brick after praising the writing of Salman Rushdie, a controversial author whose work has angered some Muslims around the world.

Zainub Priya Dala said last week she praised Rushdie’s writing at a school in Durban, a city on the country’s east coast.
Author Zainub Priya Dala
A day later, three men hit her in the face with a brick, calling her “Rushdie’s b----”. The men had forced her vehicle off a road and held a knife to her throat.

“My window was open because it was hot,” said Ms Dala to the Sunday Times, a daily newspaper in South Africa.

“One man got out from the passenger side, came to my window, held a knife to my throat and called me ‘Rushdie’s b----’ and hit me with a brick,” said Ms Dala, who said she was in shock.

“I wish I could say I’m doing better, but I’m not. Physically I’m in a lot of pain,” said the mother-of-two, “Now, I am extremely anxious.”

Dala, a psychologist by profession who was due to release her debut novel, was taken to hospital for soft-tissue damage. Her injuries include a fractured cheekbone.

Rushdie, who has been the target of death threats after the release of his 1988 book The Satanic Verses, sent his condolences to Ms Dala, writing on Twitter: “I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope you’re recovering well. All good wishes.”

Later, the British author wrote that the assault on Ms Dala was “appalling and disgraceful”.
Salman Rushdie (Rex Features)
The incident has sparked outrange amongst the South African literary community.

“I was horrified, I was horrified at the attack full stop,” said Steve Connolly, managing director of Penguin Random House, Ms Dala’s publisher.

“This isn’t something that in the literary environment we’re accustomed to.”

Mr Connolly said that Ms Dala was out of hospital and resting at home.

“My understanding is she is under medication, I would imagine she is obviously in shock,” he said, speaking from Cape Town.

“She’s looking for some time on her own to recover.”

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