New York state police identified the suspect involved in the attack as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from Fairfield, New Jersey. A probable motive remained unclear.
This still image from a video shows a man, at left, being escorted from the stage as people tend to author Salman Rushdie, centre right, at the Chautauqua Institution, in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday, 12 August 2022. Source: AAP / AP
Police said Mr Rushdie was stabbed in the neck as well as the abdomen. A number of people rushed to the stage and forced the suspect to the ground, before a trooper present at the event arrested him.
Professor LeVan, a Chautauqua regular, said the suspect “was trying to stab him as many times as possible before he was subdued,” adding that he believed the man “was trying to kill” Rushdie.
‘Horror and panic’
Another witness, John Stein, told ABC that the assailant “started stabbing on the right side of the head, of the neck. And there was blood… erupting.”
In this still image from a video, author Salman Rushdie is taken on a stretcher to a helicopter for transport to a hospital on Friday, 12 August 2022. Source: AAP / AP
Who is Salman Rushdie?
Midnight’s Children – which runs to more than 600 pages – has been adapted for the stage and silver screen, and his books have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Why did he spend a decade in hiding?
In the fatwa, Mr Khomeini urged “Muslims of the world rapidly to execute the author and the publishers of the book” so that “no one will any longer dare to offend the sacred values of Islam”.
Author Salman Rushdie holds up a copy of his book The Satanic Verses during a 1992 news conference in the US. Source: AP / RON EDMONDS/AP
Mr Khomeini, who was 89 and had just four months to live, added that anyone who was killed trying to carry out the death sentence should be considered a “martyr” who would go to paradise.
He spent nearly a decade in hiding, moving houses repeatedly and being unable to tell his children where he lived.
Reemergence and threats
“At the time we are writing these lines we do not know the motives” of the attacker, it said, speculating ironically whether it was spurred by global warming, the decline in purchasing power, or a ban on watering potted plants during the current heatwave,” the statement said.
British writer Salman Rushdie at a news conference in Paris in 1995 shows a letter from the Iranian ambassador to Denmark saying Iran would never send anyone to kill Rushdie, effectively lifting the fatwa. Source: AP / JACQUES BRINON/AP
Threats and boycotts continue against literary events that Mr Rushdie attends, and his knighthood in 2007 sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a government minister said the honour justified suicide bombings.
The fatwa failed to stifle Mr Rushdie’s writing and inspired his memoir “Joseph Anton,” named after his alias while in hiding and written in the third person.
An essential voice
“Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.”
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