Author Salman Rushdie stabbed at New York event, attacker in custody
Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked on Friday, August 12, as he was about to give a lecture in western New York. An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained. Rushdie's condition was not immediately known. He has been airlifted in a Medevac air ambulance, reports say. The attacker, a young man, has been arrested.
The New York State Police issued a statement on the attack. “State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY,” the statement read.
#BREAKING: India born author Salman Rushdie stabbed on stage at an event in New York. Attacker arrested by the Police. Rushdie has faced death threats from Islamists since years after writing The Satanic Verses. The event where he was attacked was by @chq. pic.twitter.com/56o13hFNHg— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 12, 2022
“On August 12, 2022, at about 11 a.m., a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer. Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter 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 took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene. More information will be released when it is available,” the statement added.
A man seen in these photographs was taken away by Police in New York after assassination attempt on Salman Rushdie. Identity of the attacker is still unclear. Official statement from New York Police Department is awaited. Medical condition of Salman Rushdie is still unknown. pic.twitter.com/i8sa2FrLfc— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 12, 2022
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 a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's death. A bounty of over USD 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 lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from USD 2.8 million to USD 3.3 million. Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was no evidence of people being interested in the reward. That year, Rushdie published a memoir, Joseph Anton, about the fatwa.
With AP inputs