British author Salman Rushdie was on Friday attacked when he was about to give a lecture at an event in Chautauqua County in New York in the US. Rushdie, whose controversial writings made him the target of a fatwa that forced him into hiding, was attacked by a man who rushed to the stage, then punched and stabbed him. The attacker was immediately taken into police custody.
The author fell to the floor and suffered a stab wound to the neck. Video footage showed people rushing to rescue Rushdie from the attack.
The man also attacked an interviewer who was present on stage.
Issuing a statement on Twitter , New York State Police said they are investigating the attack on Rushdie prior to a speaking event.
Giving details, police said the incident took place at about 11 am when 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, police said.
State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie. https://t.co/U2OL1S0evh
— NewYorkStatePolice (@nyspolice) 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. Iran has also offered over $3 million in reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.
(with inputs from agencies)