Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck on lecture stage at New York lecture
- Salman Rushdie was attacked on a lecture stage in New York on August 12
- He is known widely for his book The Satanic Verses, which released in 1988
- The Satanic Verses is banned in Iran since 1988
Salman Rushdie, who got death threats for years over his book The Satanic Verses, was attacked on stage in New York just before he was to deliver a lecture on Friday. The police said the 75-year-old author “suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck.”
Rushdie was taken to hospital by helicopter. His condition is not immediately known, a New York Police statement said.
It said a man ran onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and a person who was to interview him at about 11 am local time. Rushdie fell through a barrier to the stage. Photos showed he had blood on his face and hands. The assailant was later identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey resident said to be sympathetic to Ayatollah Khomeini.
The interviewer suffered a minor head injury, the police said.
The audience tackled the attacker, who was restrained and later taken into custody. He has not been identified as yet.
Salman Rushdie is a Mumbai-born author who lives in England. He won the Booker prize for his 1981 book Midnight’s Children and is seen as one of the most influential British writers in the 50 years. Fans have for long pitched for a Nobel Prize for literature for the author.
Saman Rushdie's fourth book, The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, drew ire over what was called blasphemous content. It was banned in countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Sudan. India banned import of the book.
Iran’s political and religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa or ruling under Islamic Law in 1989 for Salman Rushdie's execution. Iran offered USD 3 million for anyone who killed Salman Rushdie.
The author lived in hiding for almost a decade.
Ayotallah Khomeini died in the same year that he issued the fatwa. Though subsequent governments in Iran have distanced themselves from Khomeini’s order, anti-Rushdie sentiments have lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty to $3.3 million.