New York: Salman Rushdie – the author of blasphemous Novel “Satanic Verses” was attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck on stage Friday before giving a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, State Police said.
An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The 75-year-old author was pushed or fell to the floor.
According to CNN, the suspect has been taken into custody by a state trooper at the event.
Rushdie was airlifted to a local hospital, police said.
As per BBC, the New York state governor Kathy Hochul confirms at a press conference that Rushdie is still alive. Rushdie is “getting the care he needs” after being taken to hospital, says Hochul. More information is being gathered about the perpetrator, she adds.
Medical staff and police were called to the amphitheater, according to a Chautauqua spokesperson who would not elaborate or confirm details about the incident Salman Rushdie
According to The News International, the author, now 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India. His controversial 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” sparked a fatwa, or religious decree, leading to death threats. The novel was considered by Muslims as disrespectful of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an edict calling for Rushdie’s death.
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has condemned the “shocking and appalling” attack on British author Salman Rushdie
“It is an attack on freedom of speech and thought, which are two bedrock values of our country and of the Chautauqua Institution,” he tweeted.
He says he hopes the perpetrator experiences full accountability and justice, and wishes Rushdie a quick and full recovery.