Salman Rushdie, Author of ‘The Satanic Verses’, on Ventilator after New York Stabbing

Salman Rushdie, Author of ‘The Satanic Verses’, on Ventilator after New York Stabbing

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born author of a blasphemous anti-Islam book, was stabbed in the neck and torso onstage at a lecture in New York state on Friday and airlifted to a hospital, police said.

After hours of surgery, Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak on Friday evening.

“The news is not good,” Andrew Wylie, his book agent, wrote in an email. “Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”

Rushdie, 75, was being introduced to give a talk to an audience of hundreds on artistic freedom at western New York's Chautauqua Institution when a man rushed to the stage and lunged at the novelist.

A New York State Police trooper providing security at the event arrested the attacker. Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, who bought a pass to the event.

“A man jumped up on the stage from I don't know where and started what looked like beating him on the chest, repeated fist strokes into his chest and neck,” said Bradley Fisher, who was in the audience.  

Police said they were working with federal investigators to determine a motive. They did not describe the weapon used.

Rushdie is the author of “The Satanic Verses”, a blasphemous novel about Islam published in 1988 which sparked Muslims’ outrage across the globe.

Following the publication of the book, Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, issued a fatwa (religious decree) calling for Rushdie’s death.


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