On 12th August the famous novelist Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen by an unknown man who stormed the stage when the author was getting ready to convey a speech in western New York.
Even though this is the first time the British author was attacked like this, he has been receiving frequent threats since his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses was published. The author was taken to a hospital hurriedly after the attack where he was sustaining surgery. He was rushed to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter. The author is facing a serious recovery.
The 75-year-old author has been placed on a ventilator and cannot speak, as stated by his literary agent Andrew Wylie to The New York Times in an update on his condition after he was attacked and stabbed on stage during a literary festival at New York’s Chautauqua Institution on Friday.
“The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” said Wylie.
The New York State Police said Rushdie was stabbed “at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen,” in a news conference. Later a 24-year-old man named Hadi Matar was identified by the police who attacked the Satanic Verses author and Ralph Henry Reese, who sustained a minor head injury.
According to Associated Press, Matar was taken into custody by the New York State Police after the attack. Authorities requested a search warrant for a backpack and electronic devices found at the Chautauqua Institution, investigating with the FBI and the local sheriff’s office.
The scene was described by author Carl LeVan on Twitter, noting that Rushdie “was stabbed multiple times before [the] attacker was subdued by security” and the audience was removed.
However, Rushdie has experienced much praise for his work, including a Booker Prize for his 1981 novel Midnight’s Children, the Indian-British writer rose to prominence when his 1989 book The Satanic Verses was regarded as profanity by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The novel, which highlighted a fictional interpretation of the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran, drew counterblasts from the Muslim community. Khomeini, who died later in 1989, as per the Los Angeles Times eventually issued a fatwā (a ruling on Islamic law) for his assassination, offering a bounty for whoever killed him.
Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of PEN America where Rushdie was a former president, said, “PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at the word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie.”
“We can think of no comparable incident of a public attack on a literary writer on American soil,” the statement added.
The statement ended by offering well-wishes to Rushdie: “Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.”