Indian-born controversial author, Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck on Friday while he was about to deliver a lecture in Chautauqua, western New York.
Rushdie, who won the Booker Prize for his novel ‘Midnight’s Children’, was attacked at about 11 am, while he took the stage to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution, a community in western New York that offers arts and literary programming during the summer.
The police reported that he was taken to a local hospital by helicopter.
“State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. On August 12, 2022, at about 11 a.m., a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer,” New York Police said in a statement.
Police added, “Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury. A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene”.
Rushdie spent nine years hiding and under police protection, after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, called for his execution in 1989 because his novel The Satanic Verses was considered offensive to Islam.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted he was “appalled” by the incident.
Police have no clue of the motive but are working with the FBI to determine the motive of the attack.