Author Salman Rushdie undergoes surgery after being stabbed in the neck on stage in the US

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A man was taken into custody last night after writer Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck on a stage in the US.

he 75-year-old Indian-born British author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York when the incident happened.

Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was taken to hospital by helicopter.

The author’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said last night that Rushdie was undergoing surgery but did not elaborate on the seriousness of the author’s condition.

Photos emerged after the attack showing Rushie lying on his back with his legs raised and a first responder crouched over him.

Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988 as many Muslims consider it blasphemous, and its publication prompted then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa calling for his execution.

Rushdie was scheduled to speak to Henry Reese of the City of Asylum organization, a residency program for exiled writers at risk of persecution.

They should discuss America’s role as a haven for exiled writers and other artists and as a home for freedom of creative expression.

A video posted to Twitter by a reporter in the audience showed a man dressed in black being led away from the stage.

A statement from the New York State Police said: “At approximately 11 a.m. on August 12, 2022, a male suspect ran onto the stage and assaulted Rushdie and an interviewer. Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital. His condition is not yet known.

“The interviewer suffered a minor head injury.

“A state police officer assigned to the incident immediately took the suspect into custody.

“The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene. More information will be released as it becomes available.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference that a state police officer saved the lives of Rushdie and the presenter.

She added: “He [Rushdie] alive, he was flown to safety. But here is a person who has spent decades speaking truth to those in power, someone who braved the threats that have dogged him throughout his adult life.”

The Chautauqua Institution, which hosted the lecture, tweeted about the incident, writing, “We ask for your prayers and patience for Salman Rushdie and Henry Reese as we focus our utmost attention on coordinating with law enforcement officers following a tragic incident at the amphitheater today.

“All programs are canceled for the rest of the day. Please consult NYS police statement.”

Jeremy Genovese, 68, of Beachwood, Ohio, a retired Cleveland State University academic, told the PA news agency he arrived at the amphitheater just as it was being evacuated and that people were “flowing out.”

He said: “People were shocked, many people were crying. Chautauqua has always prided itself on being a place where people can participate in civil dialogue.

“The amphitheater is a large outdoor venue where lectures have been given since the late 18th century. You need a pass to get onto the premises, but it’s not too difficult to get inside.”

Rushdie’s publisher, Penguin Random House, said it was “deeply shocked and appalled” by the incident.

The author began his writing career in the early 1970s with two unsuccessful books previously midnight childrenon the birth of India, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.

It made him famous worldwide and was named “Best of the Bookers” on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the literary prize.

The author lived in hiding in London as part of a British government protection program for many years after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa demanding his execution The Satanic Verses.

Eventually, the Iranian government withdrew its support for the death sentence in 1998 and Rushdie gradually returned to public life, even appearing as himself in the hit 2001 film The Diary of Bridget Jones. However, the Index on Censorship, an organization promoting free speech, said it was not until 2016 that money was raised to increase the reward for Rushdie’s killing, underscoring that the fatwa for his death still stands.

His other works include the Moor’s last sight and Shalimar the clownwhich was on the long list for the booker.

He was knighted in 2008 and made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honor at Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s birthday celebrations earlier that year.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/north-america/author-salman-rushdie-undergoes-surgery-after-being-stabbed-in-neck-on-stage-in-us-41908914.html Author Salman Rushdie undergoes surgery after being stabbed in the neck on stage in the US

Fry Electronics Team

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