Uncertainty As Salman Rushdie Stabbed Many Times, Is Hospitalised - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, August 12, 2022

Uncertainty As Salman Rushdie Stabbed Many Times, Is Hospitalised

•Salman Rushdie



| The Daily Crucible | Saturday, August 13, 2022

Uncertainty surrounds the health of controversial author Salman Rushdie who was attacked on Friday as he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.

The renowned author, whose writings have made him the target of Iranian death threats, has been on a ventilator and could lose an eye following the repeated stabbing by an assailant at a literary event in New York State.

Following the attack Rushdie was airlifted to the hospital where he needed emergency surgery, and his agent said in a statement that “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,” said agent Andrew Wylie, who added that as of now Rushdie cannot speak.

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.

Police said Rushdie was stabbed in the neck as well as the abdomen. A number of people rushed to the stage and took the suspect to the ground, before an officer present at the event arrested him.

A doctor in the audience administered medical care until emergency first responders arrived. An interviewer onstage, 73-year-old Ralph Henry Reese, suffered a facial injury but has been released from the hospital, police said.

Rushdie, 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India.

But his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” brought attention beyond his imagination when it sparked a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for his death by Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The novel was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of the Prophet Mohammed.

Rushdie, who was born in India to non-practicing Muslims and today identifies as an atheist, was forced to go underground as a bounty was put on his head — which remains today.

He was granted police protection by the government in Britain and spent nearly a decade in hiding before Iran, in 1998, said it would not support his assassination.

Recalling the incident, Associated Press reporter on the scene claimed seeing a man entering the stage and start to punch and stab the author, knocking him to the floor, before being pinned by bystanders and quickly detained. Police said Rushdie was stabbed multiple times, including once in the neck, according to the New York Times. The person interviewing him suffered a minor head injury.

Pictures posted on social media by CBS 58 Executive Producer Sara Scheely Johnson show the author receiving help from bystanders. Rita Landman, an endocrinologist in the audience, told the New York Times that he was lying in a pool of blood, but continued to have a pulse.

Other pictures showed Rushdie being taken away on a stretcher, covered in blood and hooked up to an IV. He was taken to a hospital in a helicopter, according to police.

Pictures circulating show the Salman Rushdie being wheeled away on a stretcher after he was stabbed in New York, contrary to some reports he walked off stage, and the perpetrator being arrested.

Author Salman Rushdie is tended to after he was attacked during a Friday lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, about 75 miles south of Buffalo, New York.

Another image circulating on social media seemed to show blood spattered on a chair and divider on the stage.

Rushdie was the center of international controversy in 1988, when he published The Satanic Verses, a book that many Muslims believed contained blasphemy. The author was flooded with death threats from Islamic radicals, especially when Iran's ayatollah put out a fatwa on Rushdie, calling on all Muslims to execute him. The bounty on his head reached $6 million, with new funds being contributed as recently as 2016, according to the Index on Censorship.

The U.K. citizen had to go in hiding and be put under 24/7 armed guard by the British government as it uncovered several plots on his life. Riots broke out worldwide, with 12 people dying during clashes over the book in Rushdie's native India. Nearly 20,000 Muslims gathered in London to burn an effigy of the author during the same year.

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