Author Salman Rushdie stabbed on stage before a lecture in New York


State police say famed author Salman Rushdie, who has faced death threats from extremists for decades, was stabbed Friday before a scheduled lecture in western New York.

A man stormed the stage at the Chautauqua Institute, about 70 miles south of Buffalo, at about 11 a.m. and assaulted Rushdie, 75, and an interviewer, New York State Police Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said in a statement. .

“Rushdie suffered a significant stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to a hospital in the region. His condition is not yet known,” the statement said.

The interviewer sustained a minor head injury, officials said.

A prosecutor assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. His name was not released.

The Associated Press said one of its reporters witnessed the attack on Rushdie, best known for “The Satanic Verses,” which is banned in Iran and considered blasphemous by some Muslims.

NBC News has reached out to its representatives for comment.

Rushdie is one of the most acclaimed novelists in literature today, acclaimed for his provocative blend of magical realism and historical allegory.

In books like ‘Midnight’s Children’ and the infamous ‘The Satanic Verses’, Rushdie stunned readers with his energetic prose style and impressed critics with his thematic ambition.

“Midnight’s Children”, published in 1981, earned him the prestigious Booker Prize.

“The Satanic Verses”, featuring a character based on the Islamic prophet Muhammad, caused outrage across much of the Muslim world when it was published in the late 1980s. dead.

The firestorm forced Rushdie into hiding for years.

Friday’s attack sparked rapid reactions from the political and literary world.

Majority leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said the “attack is shocking and horrific.”

“It is an attack on freedom of expression and thought, two fundamental values ​​of our country and of the Chautauqua Institute,” he said in a statement. “I hope Mr Rushdie makes a speedy and full recovery and that the perpetrator experiences full responsibility and justice.”

In a statement, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said: “He is a person who has spoken the truth in power for decades. Someone who has not feared there despite the threats that have followed him throughout his adult life… our commitment to make sure we cry out, we condemn what happened, we condemn all violence, and we want people to feel that freedom to speak and write the truth.”

Nadine Dorries, de United Kingdom Culture Secretaryalso condemned the attack on Sir Salman Rushdie, calling it “horrific.”

“A terrible attack on a literary giant and one of the great defenders of free speech,” Dorries said.

Rushdie was set to appear on Friday alongside Henry Reese, co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit City of Asylum, which supports writers in exile.

The Chautauqua Institute canceled its programs for the rest of Friday after the attack. A representative of the municipality of Asylum was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

PEN America, a New York City nonprofit that defends literary freedom, said it was “deeply concerned” about the attack on Rushdie, a former group president.

“PEN America trembles with shock and horror at the word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former president and staunch ally, Salman Rushdie,” said a statement from Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America.

“We cannot think of a comparable incident of a public attack on a literary writer on American soil. A few hours before the attack, on Friday morning, Salman had sent me an email to help with placements for Ukrainian writers who needed a safe haven. for the grave dangers they face. Salman Rushdie has been the target of his words for decades, but he never flinched or wavered.”

Rushdie published “Joseph Anton: A Memoir” in 2012, in which he recounts his years since the fatwa was issued.

While it was not immediately clear what the attacker’s motive was, New York-based Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad called the stabbing “barbaric.”

“You can kill us, but you can’t kill the idea of ​​writing and fighting for our dignity,” she said in a statement. “I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie. After surviving a kidnapping and assassination plot in New York, I will not feel safe on American soil until the US takes strong action against terror.”

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.

Abigail Russ, Matthew Johnson, Cristian Santana, Brittany Kubicko and Janhvi Bhojwanic contributed.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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