VIDEO: Author Salman Rushdie has been attacked as he was about to give a lecture in western New York KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Friday, August 12, 2022

VIDEO: Author Salman Rushdie has been attacked as he was about to give a lecture in western New York

Author Salman Rushdie has been attacked as he was about to give a lecture in western New York. 

An @AP reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced.

A man on the stage was seen "punching or stabbing" the novelist before the event, according to an AP reporter who witnessed the attack.
Medical staff and police were called to the amphitheater, according to a Chautauqua spokesperson who would not elaborate or confirm details about the incident.

In a press release, the New York State Police confirmed that a man rushed the stage and stabbed Rushdie in the neck. 

"Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital," the press release said. "His condition is not yet known. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury. A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene."

New York State Police said a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer.

"Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck," the police statement said.

The author was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. His condition is not currently known.

The Indian-born novelist catapulted to fame with Midnight's Children in 1981, which went on to sell over one million copies in the UK alone.

But Mr Rushdie's fourth book, in 1988 - The Satanic Verses - forced him into hiding for nine years.

The surrealist, post-modern novel sparked outrage among some Muslims, who considered its content to be blasphemous, and was banned in some countries.

A year after the book's publication, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for Mr Rushdie's execution and offered a $3m (£2.5m) reward.

Dozens of people died in the violence that followed its publication, including murdered translators of the work.

The bounty over Mr Rushdie's head remains active, although Iran's government has distanced itself from Khomeini's decree.

The author, who has British and American citizenship, is a vocal advocate for freedom of expression and has defended his work on several occasions.

When he was knighted in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II, it sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where one cabinet minister said the honour "justifies suicide attacks".

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