Burlington: Author Salman Rushdie, who lived for years under a death threat after his 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" drew the wrath of Iranian religious leaders, is defending the absolute right of free speech.
Rushdie made the comments yesterday at the University of Vermont after being asked about last week's deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The Yemen-based group Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility.
Rushdie spoke of how the writings of authors who offend powerful people frequently outlive the criticism, even if the artists themselves don't survive. He says freedom of speech has not been weakened.