Author, Salman Rushdie, condemned to death in 1989 over novel, stabbed in New York
Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck Friday by a man who rushed the stage as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.
A bloodied Rushdie, 75, was flown to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known. His agent, Andrew Wylie, said the writer was undergoing surgery, but he had no other details.
An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested.
Authorities did not immediately identify the attacker or offer any information on his motive.
State police said Rushdie was apparently stabbed in the neck. Gov. Kathy Hochul said later that he was alive and “getting the care he needs.”
Dr. Martin Haskell, a physician who was among those who rushed to help, described Rushdie’s wounds as “serious but recoverable.”
Event moderator Henry Reese, a co-founder of an organization that offers residencies to writers facing persecution, was also attacked and suffered a minor head injury, police said.
Police said a state trooper was assigned to Rushdie’s lecture and made the arrest. But after the attack, some longtime visitors to the center questioned why there wasn’t tighter security for the event, given the decades of threats against Rushdie and a bounty on his head in the Muslim world offering more than $3 million for anyone who kills him.