Salman Rushdie, Author of Satanic Verses, Put on Ventilator, Condition Very Critical Post New York Stabbing

Salman Rushdie on ventilator and very critical

After being assaulted on stage at an event in western New York state on Friday morning, Sir Salman Rushdie is still on a ventilator.

Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and body as he prepared to deliver a lecture in western New York. His literature caused Iran to issue murder threats against him in the 1980s.

Salman Rushdie, 75, was transported to the operating room, and his publicist, Andrew Wylie, stated in a statement early Friday evening that the author had major injuries and had been placed on a ventilator: “The news is not good. Salman likely will lose one sight, had his arm’s nerves severed, had his liver stabbed, and suffered other injuries.

Salman Rushdie

Onstage at a lecture in New York state on Friday, Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born novelist who spent years in hiding when Iran urged Muslims to kill him because of his writing, was stabbed in the neck and body. He was then flown to a hospital, according to police.

Salman Rushdie was stabbed during a lecture

At the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, Rushdie, 75, was being presented to speak to a large audience about artistic freedom when a guy rushed the stage and lunged at the novelist, who has had a bounty on his head since the late 1980s.

Attendees who were in shock assisted in removing the man from Rushdie, who had fallen to the ground. The attacker was detained by a trooper from the New York State Police, who was on duty to provide protection. Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old Fairview, New Jersey, man with a ticket to the event, was named by police as the suspect.

Bradley Fisher, who was in the crowd, reported that “a man went up on the stage from I don’t know where and started what looked like pounding him on the chest, repetitive fist strikes into his chest and neck.” People could be heard breathing, crying, and screaming.

Rushdie was treated by a doctor in the crowd until emergency personnel could arrive, according to the police. The moderator of the gathering, Henry Reese, experienced a slight head injury. According to the police, they are collaborating with federal authorities to identify a motive. The employed weapon was not described.

Salman Rushdie
Canadian Press

National Security Advisor for the White House Jake Sullivan called the incident “appalling.” He said on Twitter that they are grateful to good folks and first responders for treating the author.

Salman Rushdie stabbed for writing a book

Before relocating to the UK, Rushdie was born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, now Mumbai, and has long received death threats for his fourth book, “The Satanic Verses.”

The book, according to some Muslims, contains blasphemous parts. Upon its publication in 1988 in a number of nations with sizable Muslim populations, it was outlawed.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran at the time, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, a few months later, urging Muslims to execute the novelist and anybody involved in the book’s release for blasphemy.

Rushdie, who referred to his book as “quite moderate,” spent almost ten years in hiding. The novel’s Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was assassinated in 1991. Rushdie has been living relatively openly in recent years since the Iranian government said in 1998 that it would no longer support the fatwa.

Millions of dollars have been raised as part of a bounty for Salman Rushdie’s assassination by Iranian organizations, some of which are government-affiliated. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Khomeini’s successor as supreme leader, also declared the fatwa to be “irrevocable” in 2019.

A general view of the UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., on August 12, 2022, where author Salman Rushdie is getting post-attack medical care. Quinn Glabicki for Reuters Learn More

In 2016, donations totaling $600,000 were made by the semi-official Fars News Agency of Iran and other media outlets to raise the bounty. In their article about the incident on Friday, Fars referred to Rushdie as an apostate who “insulted the prophet.”

Salman Rushdie published a memoir in 2012 under the pseudonym “Joseph Anton,” which he used while under the protection of the British police, detailing his reclusive, hidden life living under the fatwa. “Midnight’s Children,” his second book, was awarded the Booker Prize. Victory City, his newest book, is scheduled to be released in February.

Salman Rushdie was “stabbed while exercising a freedom we should never cease to defend,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding that he was horrified by the incident.

According to the institution’s website, Rushdie was there for a talk about the United States providing shelter to artists in exile and “as a home for freedom of creative expression.”

Attendees said that there were no overt security checks at the historic Chautauqua Institution, which was established in the 19th century in the diminutive lakeside town of the same name. Instead, workers reportedly just verified admission passes.

Anour Rahmani, an Algerian writer and human rights activist who was in the crowd, said, “I felt that we needed to have greater protection there since Salman Rushdie is not a typical writer.” He is a writer who is the target of a fatwa.

The institution’s president, Michael Hill, stated at a news conference that they often collaborate with regional and local law enforcement to ensure event security. He promised that the summer program will soon resume.

Our entire goal, according to Hill, “is to assist individuals bridge what has been an excessively divided world.” In light of this tragedy, “the worst thing Chautauqua could do is back away from its mission, and I don’t think Mr. Rushdie would want that either,”

Rushdie, who resides in New York City, acquired American citizenship in 2016.

He has been a severe critic of all types of religion and an outspoken critic of persecution in his own India, notably under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist administration. He describes himself as a lapsed Muslim and a “hard-line atheist.”

Salman Rushdie served as president of PEN America, an organization that promotes free speech, and the organization said it was “reeling from shock and horror” at what it called a “unique attack on a writer in the United States.” View More

According to PEN’s CEO Suzanne Nossel, “Salman Rushdie has been attacked for his views for decades but has never flinched or wavered.” Rushdie had emailed her earlier that morning asking for assistance in discovering Ukrainian writers requesting asylum, according to her.