Novelist Salman Rushdie In Surgery After Being Attacked On Stage

Novelist Salman Rushdie undergoes surgery after being attacked on stage

Salman Rushdie was attacked minutes before he was scheduled to speak at an event on Friday.

New York:

British author Salman Rushdie, whose works made him the target of death threats by Iranians, had emergency surgery on Friday after an attacker stabbed him in the neck at a literary events in the state of New York.

Police said a male suspect burst onto the stage and assaulted Rushdie and an interviewer, with “an obvious stab wound to the neck”.

His agent, Andrew Wylie, said in a statement on Twitter that Rushdie was airlifted to the hospital and taken to surgery, and pledged to provide updates on his condition as soon as possible. .

Footage on social media shows people receiving emergency medical care on stage shortly after the attack. The interviewer also suffered a head injury.

One suspect was arrested by state police, who did not immediately give details of his identity or probable motive.

The attack happened as Rushdie was about to give a speech at the Chautauqua Institute, which hosts arts programs in a quiet lakeside community 70 miles (110 km) south of Buffalo.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul condemned the stabbing and praised Rushdie as “an individual who has spent decades telling the truth before power.”

“We condemn all violence, and we want people to be able to feel[the]freedom to speak and write the truth,” she said.

– A decade in hiding –

Rushdie, 75, was noted for her second novel “Midnight Children” in 1981, which won international acclaim and the UK’s prestigious Booker Prize for her portrait of India. post-independence era.

But his 1988 book “Verses of Satan” caught his eye beyond his imagination when it sparked a religious edict, or Fatwa, calling for the revolutionary leader’s death. Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The novel is considered by some Muslims to be disrespectful to the Prophet Mohammed.

Rushdie, who was born in India to non-Muslims and is today identified as an atheist, was forced to go underground because of a bounty placed on his head – this remains until today.

He was granted police protection by the British government, where he was at school and where he made his home, following the murder or attempted murder of his translator and publisher.

He spent nearly a decade in hiding, moving several times and unable to tell his children where he lived.

Rushdie only began to emerge from life on the run in the late 1990s after Iran in 1998 announced it would not support his assassination.

Now living in New York, he is an advocate of free speech, especially launching a strong defense for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after its staff were targeted by Muslims. shot down in Paris in 2015.

The magazine published drawings of Mohammed that attracted a Muslim backlash around the world.

– An ‘essential voice’ –

Threats and boycotts continued against the literary events Rushdie attended, and his knighthood in 2007 sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a prime minister The government says the honor justifies the suicide bombings.

Fatwa failed to stop Rushdie’s writing style and inspired his memoir “Joseph Anton”, named after his alias while in hiding and written in the third person.

“Midnight’s Children” – over 600 pages long – has been adapted for the stage and screen, and his books have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Suzanne Nossel, head of PEN America, said the free-speech group was “spinning with shock and horror.”

“Just hours before the attack, on Friday morning, Salman emailed me to help locate Ukrainian writers in need of safe haven from the grave dangers they face.” Nossel said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and passion now rest with our courageous Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice is his. cannot and will not be silenced.”

Chuck Schumer, a senator representing New York, called the attack “an attack on freedom of speech and thought, two fundamental values ​​of our country.”

“I hope Mr. Rushdie makes a speedy full recovery and that the perpetrators are held accountable and full justice,” he said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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