Author Salman Rushdie stabbed at New York event, attacker held – Hindustan Times

Entertainment
Updated on Aug 12, 2022 10:08 PM IST
  • 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.(AP)
The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.(AP)
Agencies |

British author Salman Rushdie, whose writings made him the target of Iranian death threats that forced him into hiding, was attacked on stage Friday in western New York state.

“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,” police said in a statement.

Rushdie fell to the floor when the man attacked him, and was then surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, seemingly to send more blood to his upper body, as the attacker was restrained, according to a witness attending the lecture .

Video footage posted on social media showed people rushing to his aid after he was attacked at the event in Chautauqua County, with police confirming a stabbing while declining to immediately identify the victim.

“A most horrible event just happened at #chautauquainstitution – Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at #chq2022. The amphitheater is evacuated,” one witness said on social media.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s office said “we can confirm there was a stabbing,” without giving further details.

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.

The author, now 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India.

But his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” brought attention beyond his imagination when it sparked a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for his death by Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The novel was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of the Prophet Mohammed.

Rushdie, who was born in India to non-practising Muslims and himself is an atheist, was forced to go underground as a bounty was put on his head — which remains today.

A decade in hiding

He was granted police protection by the government in Britain, where he was at school and where he made his home, following the murder or attempted murder of his translators and publishers.

He spent nearly a decade in hiding, moving houses repeatedly and being unable to tell his children where he lived.

Rushdie only began to emerge from his life on the run in the late 1990s after Iran in 1998 said it would not support his assassination.

Now living in New York, he is an advocate of freedom of speech, notably launching a strong defence of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after its staff were gunned down by Islamists in Paris in 2015.

The magazine had published drawings of Mohammed that drew furious reactions from Muslims worldwide.

Threats and boycotts continue against literary events that Rushdie attends, and his knighthood in 2007 sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a government minister said the honour justified suicide bombings.

The fatwa failed to stifle Rushdie’s writing, however, and inspired his memoir “Joseph Anton”, named after his alias while in hiding and written in the third person.

“Midnight’s Children”, which runs to more than 600 pages, has been adapted for the stage and silver screen, and his books have been translated into more than 40 languages.

QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads



  • This 2014 illustration made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts a polio virus particle.

    Polio detected in New York’s sewage water, suggests virus circulating

    The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday. State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said the detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming but not surprising.


  • A picture taken on August 12, 2022, shows shattered glass as a man walks in front of the building where according to Saudi officials, a suspect in a deadly 2015 Islamic State group attack on a Saudi mosque, blew himself up while being arrested by security forces in Jeddah this week.

    Saudi blast suspect kills self with suicide belt: Officials

    A suspect in a deadly 2015 Islamic State group attack on a Saudi mosque blew Saudi national Abdullah bin Zayed al-Bakri al-Shehri up while being arrested by security forces in Jeddah this week, Saudi officials said on Friday. Four others were wounded when Saudi national Abdullah bin Zayed al-Bakri al-Shehri set off the explosives belt, the official said. He was one of nine men wanted for the blast that killed 15 people — mostly police — near the Yemen border.


  • File phoro of Britain's Conservative Party leadership candidate Rishi Sunak.

    Rishi Sunak faces losing battle in race to be UK PM, Liz Truss likely to win

    Amid the race for the Conservative party leadership, British Prime Minister hopeful Rishi Sunak has vowed to support the most vulnerable people of the UK amid the rising energy crisis in the country. The Conservative party leadership results are just a few weeks away but it looks like Liz Truss’s victory over Rishi Sunak is imminent. Not only this, independent surveys and polls have shown Truss consistently scoring ahead of Rishi Sunak.


  • The dried out river bed is seen at the head of the River Thames, in Kemble.

    Drought declared in England amid extreme hot weather

    England is officially in a drought across vast swathes of the country, the government’s Environment Agency has announced, as another heat wave intensifies and water companies impose restrictions on household use. Parts of western, southern, central and eastern England were put into “drought” status following a meeting of the National Drought Group on Friday. The UK is currently struggling on many fronts. The drought is not only affecting England.


  • An illustration of the novel coronavirus seen next to a health care worker at a Covid-19 testing centre in New Delhi on October 28. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

    Why mutation of BA.5 lineages is a matter of concern? WHO highlights

    About 99 per cent of the coronavirus sequences reported globally in a month – between July 8 and August 8 – were linked to the Omicron variant, the World Health Organization has said in its latest weekly bulletin, highlighting that “BA.5 descendent lineages” are increasing in diversity. The world health body has said it has been tracking an increase in prevalence and change in vital characteristics of the lineages.

Leave a Reply