Celebrities and world leaders expressed their shock on social media as author Salman Rushdie fought for his life on a ventilator after being stabbed Friday.
The 75-year-old writer was attacked onstage at a literary event in upstate New York and is likely to lose one of his eyes as a result of the unexpected attack.
Rushdie’s alleged attacker, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, of Fairview, NJ, was arrested at the scene by a state agent assigned to the lecture.
President Joe Biden paid tribute when he made a statement from the White House after learning that Rushdie is in critical condition.
“Today, the country and the world witnessed a reprehensible attack on the writer Salman Rushdie,” the POTUS said in a statement. “This act of violence is appalling.”
“All of us in the Biden-Harris administration pray for his speedy recovery. We are grateful to the good civilians and first responders for helping Mr. Rushdie so soon after the attack and to law enforcement for their prompt and effective work, which is underway.”
Following Biden’s sentiment, outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went to Twitter to express his concern about the attack.
“Shocked that Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed while exercising a right that we should never cease to defend,” tweeted Johnson, who will officially step down as prime minister next month.
“Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We all hope he’s okay.”
French President Emmanuel Macron also paid his respects on Twitterwriting: “Salman Rushdie has embodies freedom and the struggle against obscurantism for 33 years.
“He has just fallen victim to a cowardly attack by the forces of hatred and barbarity. His struggle is our struggle; it is universal. Now more than ever we are by his side.”
Celebrities and other members of the literary world also rushed to social media to express their concerns and send good wishes to the author.
“Shocking news that Salman Rushdie has been stabbed,” says celebrity food writer Nigella Lawson tweeted. “This is horrible. Am distraught. Please, please let him be okay.”
Horror writer Stephen King also expressed his concern, tweet“I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”
‘What kind of bastard stabs a writer anyway? F–ker,” King added in a continued tweet.
Author of the “Harry Potter” franchise, JK Rowling, tweeted, “Terrible news. Feel very sick now. Let him be good.”
DC Comics series “The Sandman” author Neil Gaiman said he was “disturbed” to see the news about his “friend”.
“He’s a good man and a brilliant one and I hope he’s okay,” Gaiman tweeted.
Author of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini, also condemned the attack.
“I am utterly shocked by the cowardly attack on Salman Rushdie. I pray for his recovery. He is an essential voice and cannot be silenced,” he tweeted.
Rushdie’s publisher Penguin Random House has issued a statement.
“We are deeply shocked and appalled to learn of the attack on Salman Rushdie while speaking at the Chautauqua Institute in New York,” CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement.
“We condemn this violent public attack and our thoughts are with Salman and his family at this harrowing time.”