The Associated Press reported that Rushdie was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution when a man dashed onto a lecture stage and attacked him
“The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie was attacked Friday in Chautauqua, New York.
The Associated Press reported that Rushdie was being introduced at a literary festival at Chautauqua Institution when a man dashed onto a lecture stage and attacked him.
According to the AP, Rushdie fell or was taken to the floor and was taken by helicopter to a hospital, state police said. His current condition is not known. His attacker was detained.
“Just witnessed the horrific assassination attempt on #SalmanRushdie’s life. He was stabbed multiple times before attacker was subdued by security,” author Carl LeVan tweeted after the attack. “Some intrepid members of audience went on stage. What courage will be expected of us next to defend even the smallest freedoms?”
According to The New York Times, audience member Rita Landman walked on stage after the attack to offer assistance. “She said that Mr. Rushdie had multiple stab wounds, including one to the right side of his neck, and that there was a pool of blood under his body. But she said he appeared to be alive and was not receiving CPR.”
The British born author was the subject of a fatwā, or religious ruling, from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 after his novel “The Satanic Verses” was released. Many Muslims were outraged by the writing and demonstrations were held around the world.
Because of threats against his life and million dollar bounties, Rushdie went into hiding for almost a decade.
He has since written about Khomeini’s edict. Rushdie was previously married to model and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi.
Rushdie is the former president of PEN America. In a statement after the attack, CEO Suzanne Nossel said, “PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at the word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie.”
“We can think of no comparable incident of a public attack on a literary writer on American soil,” the statement continued.
The statement ending by offering well-wishes to Rushdie: “Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.”