Update: Salman Rushdie Stabbed on Stage in New York – Attacker Identified – Best Native American Magazine | San Jose California
Writer Salman Rushdie, who continues to carry a $3.3 million bounty around his neck, was assaulted onstage on the morning of August 12 at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.
The New York Times reports that the author of satanic verses had several stab wounds, including one to the right side of his neck. He was lying in a pool of blood, but the newspaper reported that Rushdie appeared to be alive and appeared to have a pulse.
Rushdie was transported by medical helicopter to a hospital. His attacker was later identified by New York State Police like Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. No motive has yet been determined.
The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, was considered blasphemous by some Muslims for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie in 1989; the author spent several years in hiding.
Iran has since distanced itself from the fatwa, but remains nonetheless, with a $3.3 million bounty.
PEN America immediately released a statement. “(We are) in shock and horror at news of a brutal and premeditated attack on our former President and staunch ally, Salman Rushdie,” wrote Suzanne Nossel, CEO of Pen America. “We can think of no comparable incident of a violent public attack on a literary writer on American soil.”
Nossel wrote that just hours before the attack, Rushdie wrote to him to help place Ukrainian writers in need of safe haven. “Salman Rushdie was targeted for his lyrics for decades but never flinched or wavered. He poured tireless energy into helping others.
“Our thoughts and passions are now with our fearless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We fervently hope and believe that his vital voice cannot and will not be silenced,” Nossel wrote.
Update: In a statement reported by multiple publications, Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said on the evening of August 12 that the news was “not good.” He noted that Rushdie is on a ventilator and cannot speak.
“Salman will probably lose an eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wylie said.
This is a developing story. India Currents will post updates as they arise.