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 thenÂ heldÂ a knife to herÂ neck, smashed her face with a brick, andÂ called her â€œRushdieâ€™s bitchâ€.
Here are some of the messages of support for Dala that readers have shared with us.
â€œUnacceptable and unIslamic.â€
Dr Thomas Groenewald
â€œI find it extremely sad that individuals are intolerant in this way; that they cannot differentiate between appreciation as writer fromÂ narrow religious beliefs.â€
Nadia Kirsten, from Cape Town
â€œHow disempowered are haters to think that itâ€™s OK to be led by blindÂ beliefs and violence. This does not make you a better person or moreÂ superior; contrary to this, you have proved yourselves to beÂ uneducated and weak. Strength and love to Zainab and family.â€
â€œCompletely shocked that a group of this [kind] could attack an unarmed woman.Â People have every right to protest, but it should not be under theÂ aegis of violence.â€
â€œThis is terrible â€“ to be beaten for her views. [What] sick, barbaric people to doÂ that to a defenceless woman.â€
â€œI support freedom of expression. As a journalist it is my duty to stand for a fellow journalistâ€™s right to free speech.â€
â€œItâ€™s unconscionable behaviour â€“ a cowardly attack by ignorant thugs who have no sense of humanity or religion.â€
â€œI wish to show my support for writer Zainub Priya Dala, who was beatenÂ over [her] Salman Rushdie comment. I hope that she makes a speedy recoveryÂ and is not stopped from speaking out against attempts to curtailÂ freedom of expression.
â€œHorrific and cowardly act!â€
Gabriel Hoosain Khan
â€œThis is a terrible and cowardly act. I would like to add myÂ name to the statement for collective support. Amandla, ZP Dala!â€
â€œWe are all South Africans first, before any religions and cultures. AndÂ here in SA we pride ourselves on freedom of expression and speech. WeÂ should raise as much awareness and support on this issue, such thatÂ this will be the first and last ever brutal incident of this nature.â€
Saaleha Idrees Bamjee
â€œThat 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 ofÂ the Writer festival in Durban and are deeply disturbed by what weÂ regard as the work of cowards.
David P Kramer
I offer my wholehearted support for Zainub Dala. I wish her well and aÂ speedy and full physical and emotional recovery from her injuries.Â I also look forward to reading her book which I ordered yesterday.
Literature and art are always dangerous and controversial if they areÂ about real people. Its hard to keep on when we are threatened. IfÂ anyone disagrees with a workshop leader they can discuss the issues,Â 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.