Support for author ZP Dala has been pouring in since her brutal attack on Wednesday last week, which occurred after she praised the writing style of Salman Rushdie. Dala’s vehicle was forced off the road by three men, who then held a knife to her neck, smashed her face with a brick, and called her “Rushdie’s bitch”.
Here are some of the messages of support for Dala that readers have shared with us.
“Unacceptable and unIslamic.”
Dr Thomas Groenewald
“I find it extremely sad that individuals are intolerant in this way; that they cannot differentiate between appreciation as writer from narrow religious beliefs.”
Nadia Kirsten, from Cape Town
“How disempowered are haters to think that it’s OK to be led by blind beliefs and violence. This does not make you a better person or more superior; contrary to this, you have proved yourselves to be uneducated and weak. Strength and love to Zainab and family.”
“Completely shocked that a group of this [kind] could attack an unarmed woman. People have every right to protest, but it should not be under the aegis of violence.”
“This is terrible – to be beaten for her views. [What] sick, barbaric people to do that to a defenceless woman.”
“I support freedom of expression. As a journalist it is my duty to stand for a fellow journalist’s right to free speech.”
“It’s unconscionable behaviour – a cowardly attack by ignorant thugs who have no sense of humanity or religion.”
“I wish to show my support for writer Zainub Priya Dala, who was beaten over [her] Salman Rushdie comment. I hope that she makes a speedy recovery and is not stopped from speaking out against attempts to curtail freedom of expression.
“Horrific and cowardly act!”
Gabriel Hoosain Khan
“This is a terrible and cowardly act. I would like to add my name to the statement for collective support. Amandla, ZP Dala!”
“We are all South Africans first, before any religions and cultures. And here in SA we pride ourselves on freedom of expression and speech. We should raise as much awareness and support on this issue, such that this will be the first and last ever brutal incident of this nature.”
Saaleha Idrees Bamjee
“That this happened at all is horrifying. Writers, in this day, in this country, should not have to fear violence as reaction to their views. That a simple act, nothing but a hat-tip to another writer, elicited this vile thuggery is concerning. It is an affront to our freedoms, to our humanity.
I align myself with the petition. We were with Zainub at the Time of the Writer festival in Durban and are deeply disturbed by what we regard as the work of cowards.
David P Kramer
I offer my wholehearted support for Zainub Dala. I wish her well and a speedy and full physical and emotional recovery from her injuries. I also look forward to reading her book which I ordered yesterday.
Literature and art are always dangerous and controversial if they are about real people. Its hard to keep on when we are threatened. If anyone disagrees with a workshop leader they can discuss the issues, not ambush and attack in this cowardly way.
Chanette Paul (Author)
I strongly object to and condemn this shocking and very disturbing incident of violence and intimidation.