The host of the event in which Sir Salman Rushdie was attacked onstage said his concerns weren’t just about the writer himself, but about what he meant in the world.
Henry Rees said the events in New York have highlighted more than ever the values that Sir Salman espouses.
The author, 75, suffered life-changing serious injuries after being stabbed several times before a lecture at New York’s Chautauqua Institute on Friday.
Asked how he felt after the accident, Mr Rees told the BBC:
“I think our concern is with Salman. It’s about him, but it’s also about what he means to the world.
When asked what this incident means for the importance of Lord Salman’s values, Reiss added:
“Our mission is to protect writers in the sanctuary and to see Salman Rushdie beaten for his life is unimaginable…Explain what happens before your eyes.” It’s hard to do.”
Reese, who suffered severe bruising from the accident, said it would be “my ideal” to return to the venue one day and continue the conversation with Sir Salman.
“That’s my ideal, to see it happen and never get in the way of what we’re trying to do,” he said.
“It’s about showing that these values are both defended and can be defended.”
Despite his “life-changing” injury, Lord Salman has retained his “usual feisty and rebellious sense of humor,” his family said.
The author suffered liver damage and severed nerves in his arms and eyes, but was taken off the ventilator on Saturday.
This was after Downing Street denounced the suggestion that Lord Salman could be held responsible for the attack as “absurd”.
The remarks, which came after a senior Iranian government official denied on Monday that Tehran was involved in the assault on the author, were the country’s first official comments on the stabbing attack.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told journalists:
“Nobody has the right to blame Iran for this.”
“We believe the insults and support he received are an insult to believers of all religions.”
Lord Salman’s assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty to charges arising from the assault through his lawyers and is scheduled to appear in a US court on Friday.
For over 30 years, the award-winning author has faced death threats over his book The Satanic Verses.
Asked about the comments from Tehran, the prime minister’s official spokesman said:
“This was not just an attack on him, it was an attack on freedom of speech and expression. I will defend the