Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Writer Salman Rushdie Stabbed On Stage In New York

Writer Salman Rushdie Stabbed On Stage In New York

A man stormed the stage and attacked Salman Rushdie. He was restrained by people present there and is in police custody.

People tending to Salman Rushdie after he was attacked.
People tending to Salman Rushdie after he was attacked. AP Photo/Joshua Goodman

The renowned writer Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage in the United States on Friday.

Rushdie was stabbed by a man when he was getting ready to give a lecture at an event. Rushdie's condition was not immediately known.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie. The attacker was restrained by the people present.

Rushdie fell through a barrier to the stage and was seen with blood on his hands, according to witnesses quoted by PTI, which added that he was then treated on the stage.

New York State Police in a statement said it's investigating the attack.

"On August 12, 2022, at about 11 a.m., 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," said police in a statement.

It added that the attacker is in police custody.

Death threats have been issued to Rushdie over his writings. His book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988 as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. 

In 1989, Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an edict calling for Rushdie's death. A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.

Support and solidarity poured in on Twitter for Rushdie, 75, with public figures across various spheres condemning the attack.

"Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Salman Rushdie. The artist and his voice is under serious threat by religious extremists world wide. Stand with Salman Rushdie," said filmmaker Onir in a tweet.

Writer Tasleema Nasreen, who herself faces death threats from Islamists, expressed shock at the attack and said she fears if Rushdie can be attacked, then any other person could be attacked too. 

"He has been living in the West, and he has been protected since 1989. If he is attacked, anyone who is critical of Islam can be attacked. I am worried," said Nasreen in a tweet. 

"Dearest Salman. Great Salman Rushdie. I am horrified by what I just read. All my support, my friend. I hope and pray you are safe and recover quickly. I am thinking of you, my dear brother in soul," said Bernard-Henri Lévy in a tweet.