Author Salman Rushdie was attacked Friday as he was about to give a lecture in western New York. The police said the 75-year-old, who suffered stab wound to his neck in on-stage attack, has been airlifted to hospital, news agency AP reported. His condition was not yet known, the police added.
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 author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested. The moderator at the event was also attacked and suffered a minor head injury, police said.
A prominent spokesman for free expression, Rushdie’s writings led to death threats from Iran. His 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims.
Here are the key developments on the incident
🔴 The Associated Press quoting New York Police has confirmed that the author is confirmed to have suffered stab wounds from the attack.
🔴 Rushdie fell to the floor when the man attacked him, and was then surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, seemingly to send more blood to his upper body, as the attacker was restrained, according to a witness attending the lecture who asked not to be named.
🔴 The incident took place when a man rushed to the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state and attacked Rushdie as he was being introduced, an eye witness said. A State Trooper present at the event took the attacker into custody, police said.
Salman Rushdie was taken to the hospital by medical helicopter.
Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed after taking stage at a Chautauqua Institute event.
— Chaudhary Parvez (@ChaudharyParvez) August 12, 2022
🔴 According to an eye witness, Rabbi Charles Savenor said, “This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten,” Savenor said. He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds, news agency AP reported.
— Charles Savenor (@CharlieSavenor) August 12, 2022
🔴 His 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims. Often-violent protests against Rushdie erupted around the w world, including a riot that killed 12 people in Mumbai.
🔴 The novel was banned in Iran, where the late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death. A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.
🔴 The death threats and bounty led Rushdie to go into hiding under a British government protection program, including a round-the-clock armed guard.
🔴 Rushdie emerged after nine years of seclusion and cautiously resumed more public appearances, maintaining his outspoken criticism of religious extremism overall.
With AP inputs