Indian-born author of The Satanic Verses was attacked on stage during an event in New York and may lose an eye
A young man stormed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in the US state of New York. He began assaulting Salman Rushdie as he was being introduced to the audience.
US prosecutors charged a man, 24, with the assault and attempted murder of British author Sir Salman Rushdie. Salman Rushdie authored the controversial The Satanic Verses.
The injured author was on a ventilator after emergency surgery for the stab wound he suffered in the neck. He suffered an attack during an event in New York on Friday.
Jason Schmidt, the Chautauqua County District Attorney, said, “The individual responsible for the attack, Hadi Mattar, is now charged with attempted murder in the second degree. And assault in the second degree.”
“He was arrested on these charges last night and remanded to custody without bail.”
Mattar is born a US citizen of Lebanese parents. The family emigrated from Yaroun, a village in the south of Lebanon.
Salman Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said the news was “not good.”
“He will likely lose an eye, and the nerves in his arm were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”
Salman Rushdie went into hiding after publishing The Satanic Verses in 1988. The book hurt the feelings of Muslims.
Kathy Hochul, New York Governor, said Salman Rushdie was alive and “getting the care he needs” after being airlifted to safety.
Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s National Security Adviser, said the attack on Salman Rushdie was “reprehensible.”
An Associated Press reporter at the event saw a man rush to the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin attacking the author.
Video footage by Charles Savenor, who attended the event, shows people rushing to Salman Rushdie’s aid.
The man ran onto the platform “and started hitting Mr. Rushdie. At first, you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then in a few seconds, it became clear that he was attacked,” said Mr. Savenor.
Martin Haskell, a physician attending the event, described Salman Rushdie’s wounds as “serious but recoverable.”
Salman Rushdie became famous for his 1981 novel Midnight’s Children. The book won him the coveted Booker Prize for its portrayal of colonial and postcolonial India.
The Satanic Verses, one of Rushdie’s works, was banned in many countries in 1988. At least 45 people died protesting the controversial book.
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A year after its publication, Iran’s former supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the author’s death.
A $3 million bounty on Rushdie led him to spend nine years hiding in the UK under a British government protection program.
Iran’s government has distanced itself from the issue in the years since. But anger over Rushdie remained. Salman Rushdie has lived in the US since 2000.