The 75 years old British author, Salman Rushdie was attacked by a man on stage when he was preparing to speak at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state.
Rushdie, whose controversial writings have made him the target of death threats, for the past 2 decades and nearly a decade under police protection in the United Kingdom, is an author of numerous books. Hadi Matar, 24, around 10:45 a.m, Friday, rushed to the stage., attacked him from his right side and an interviewer and then started to stab the 75-year-old author, police said.
An eyewitness, while talking to the Los Angeles times, mentioned, “He crept up real fast behind him with a short-bladed black knife that he immediately then — the first attack was to his throat on the right side,”. Rushdie was immediately transferred to a nearby health facility by a helicopter where he underwent an immediate surgery.
“The motive behind the attack remains unclear,” New York Police officials said. Social media account of the suspect shows the suspect is sympathetic to Shia extremism with pictures of revolutionary guards and other officials but police officials have yet to arrive at the conclusion.
Life and legacy:
Rushdie was born in India and raised in Mumbai. Later he moved to England to attend high school and the University of Cambridge. Rushdie is the author of 14 novels, including his fourth novel, “The Satanic verses,” for which he received death threats and extreme condemnation in the Muslim world, afterwards. The novel gave rise to great controversy in the Muslim community specially Iran.
Rushdie’s life first came under threat in 1989, when Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini placed a fatwa and $1-million, later increased to $3.3 million, reward for Rushdie’s killer, over “The Satanic Verses,” a book inspired by the life of the prophet Muhammad. Pakistan banned the book and on 12 February 1989, strong protests were held by the public in condemnation of the book, in the capital of the country, Islamabad. Protests resulted in confrontation with security officials where 6 people were killed and numerous injured. The Satanic Verses brought him attention, over and above his imagination, when he was compelled to go underground.
Sources claim that Rushdie is on deathbed and unable to speak with severe injuries to nerves in an arm and damage to his liver, and could lose an eye. “The news is not good, Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.” Andrew Wylie, his agent, wrote in an email. The interviewer, Henry Reese, suffered minor injuries to the head too. After being transferred to the nearby hospital, Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak on Friday evening. The suspect stabbed Rushdie at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen area, State Police told the reporters. While he may survive, he will not be able to communicate properly and will have permanent liver damage.