FILE – Author Salman Rushdie appears at a signing of his book ‘Home’ in London June 6, 2017. Rushdie has been attacked while giving a lecture in West New York. An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage Friday at the Chautauqua institution and begin beating or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP, File)
Author Salman Rushdie, behind screen left, is treated after being attacked during a lecture, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York (AP Photo/Joshua Goodman)
New York State Police are seen on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution after an attack on author Salman Rushdie.
CHAUTAUQUA – Author Salman Rushdie has been attacked during a morning appearance at Chautauqua Institution.
State police say Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was airlifted to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury. A state trooper assigned to the event immediately arrested the suspect. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.
An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the incident said the man stormed the stage and began punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The perpetrator was grabbed or fell to the ground, and the man was restrained.
Rushdie was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who lifted his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest. His condition was not immediately known.
Hundreds of people in the audience gasped as they watched the attack and were later evacuated.
Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” it has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death.
A reward of more than $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.
Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment has endured. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation increased the reward for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.
Rushdie rejected that threat at the time, saying yes “no proof” of people interested in the reward.
That year, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton”, about the fatwa. The title comes from the pseudonym Rushdie had used while in hiding.
Rushdie rose to prominence with his 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel “Midnight’s Children” but his name became known around the world afterwards “The Satanic Verses.”
Rushdie is the author of 14 novels, four works of non-fiction and a collection of short stories, in addition to being the co-editor of two anthologies. Winner of many of the world’s most important literary prizes, he was founding president in 1994 of the International Parliament of Writers (now the International Network of Cities of Asylum), an organization formed to create structures capable of helping and supporting persecuted writers , and what eventually became known as the Asylum Cities Network.
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