Writer injured in neck and stomach after Salman Rushdie stabbing, police say
British author Salman Rushdie was assaulted at an event in New York state on Friday. The Booker Prize-winning author was preparing to speak at the Chautauqua Institute when witnesses said they saw a man who assaulted an attendee run onto the stage and, according to a police report, Rushdie suffered injuries to his neck and the abdomen. With a knife.
New York police have identified the suspect as Haddy Mather, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, and believe he acted alone. Officials said there was no threat before the incident, but said they did not know the motive for the attack.
After the attack, Salman Rushdie, 75, was airlifted to a local hospital. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but according to New York Governor Cathy Hochul, the writer is alive and “getting the treatment he needs.” Andrew Wylie, a spokesman for the author, said by email that “Rushty is in surgery,” but did not provide further details.
Elements of the audience took to the stage shortly after the incident, which happened around 11 a.m. local time (4 p.m. in mainland Portugal). According to a journalist from the Associated Press, the writer lay down on the ground, assisted by a rescuer, then left the scene. Interviewee Henry Rees also suffered a minor head injury. Rees is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that houses exiled writers at risk of persecution.
The assailant was subdued and arrested by police, but no further information has been released. The British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ quoted eyewitnesses who, wearing black masks covering their faces, ran onto the stage and began attacking Rushdie as he sat. Retired journalist Paula Wohl told the “Buffalo News”.
Iran ordered Rushdie’s death in 1989
The author of “Satanic Verses”, published in 1988, was sentenced to death by the Iranian President, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a year after its publication, on charges of defaming the faithful. This decision led Salman Rushdie to live in limbo, under the protection of the police, and its origin was a “fatwa” issued by the Iranian leader with the promise of a three million dollar reward for the murder of the writer. Severance of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Iran. The Iranian government has long distanced itself from Khomeini’s mandate, but has anti-Rushti sentiment.
In 2012, the Iranian Religious Foundation increased the reward for Rushti’s murder to $3.3 million. Rushdie played down the threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” people were interested in the prize money. That year, the writer published a memoir called “Joseph Anton”. – A Memory”, in ‘Fatwa’.
Author of nearly two dozen titles, Rushdie won the Booker Prize for “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, and was named Booker of Bookers in 1993 and Best of the Booker in 2008. “O Último Suspiro do Mouro” him won the Withbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union Prize for Literature in 1996.