Zafar Rushdie: Salman Rushdie’s son, says the experience “made me who I am.” Living in the shadow of the fatwa for the past 11 years, Zafar Rushdie, Salman Rushdie’s son, says the experience “made me who I am.”
CHAUTAUQUA, NEW YORK – Zafar Rushdie, 40, is the eldest son of Salman Rushdie, an award-winning British-American novelist who was born in India. He was only nine years old when Ayatollah Khomenei of Iran issued the fatwa against his father. His father, Salman Rushdie, and his first wife, Clarissa Luard, gave birth to him in 1979. Eleven tortuous years passed as he was forced to endure life in the shadow of the terrifying edict. When asked about it, he replied, “When it happened, I didn’t wish it hadn’t happened. He has made me the person I am today.
Zafar has often reflected on the times he was able to spend with his father. When I asked him about it later, he said that at first having police around him 24 hours a day was wonderful, but the excitement was gradually overtaken by the ominous danger that was always present. “In the beginning, the fatwa amused me a lot. When I was nine years old, I came home from school one day to find that the police were inside my house. It was a great experience to be in the company of these powerful men who carried firearms. “But I soon found out enough to recognize there was something big going on, and it wasn’t good,” Zafar told the Evening Standard. “But I soon found out enough to realize there was a big problem and it wasn’t good.”
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Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie’s autobiography, is dedicated not only to his sons Zafar and Milan Rushdie, but also to their mothers, Clarissa Luard and Elizabeth West. The author clearly has a lot of love and care for his children, and it shows in this book. He describes Zafar as a “wonderful young man” at one point in the conversation. Zafar, who now owns his own public relations agency, had a difficult life in some ways. He was nine years old when the fatwa was issued; he was 15 years old when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; and he was 19 when she passed away.
In the past, Zafar has been quoted as saying, “I don’t remember ever being terrified. He couldn’t identify the source of his fear. When he was just starting out, there was a period of time where he would pick up the phone and there would be someone on the other end of the line saying that he knew where he lived and that he would come. kill me. Even though we had been removed from the directory, they could still get our number. That was cause for concern, he said in an interview with the Evening Standard. When I got back to my house, I immediately called my mother and said, “What is this?” And after that, it took ten years to figure out what was going on and what was the most effective way to combat it,” he continued.
Natalie and Zafar Rushdie were in Barnes, England, on July 20, 2022, to pay their respects at the funeral of Dame Deborah James, which took place at St. Mary’s Church. After her colon cancer diagnosis in 2016, former director Dame Deborah James was recognized by her social media nickname “Bowelbabe”. She then became the host of a popular podcast and Instagram account, where she updated fans of her treatment progress and prompted £7.42 million worth of donations to research into the disease. cancer. Dame Deborah died on June 28, 2022.
When Zafar returned to his prep school, The Hall, he would be escorted by a total of twelve police cars. According to the Evening Standard, although he was never under police protection at home, he was never able to meet his father in public. “I think the most unfortunate aspect is that you are required to learn to lie as a matter of course. When it was the weekend, friends would always ask, “Where are you?” When I was actually dating my dad, he would say things like, “Oh, I’m dating my mom.” He explained that these were not theatrical lies, but lies that involved withholding information.
In an interview that took place in 2016, Rushdie stated that being a good father to his children, especially Zafar, was very important to him. This statement was made in reference to Rushdie’s children. “When [the fatwa] began, he was nine years old, and his entire youth was shaped and characterized by it. She made an effort to explain to him what was going on because she was afraid that the worst that could happen was that he would find out and be horrified. The author stated: “Of course, he was worried about her safety; Both his mother and I did our best to make sure he had a childhood that was at least somewhat typical, but it was a very difficult time for him.”