Salman Rushdie, an author who was targeted with death threats and bounties by Iran for his work, was attacked on a lecture stage in western New York on Friday.
What happened: Just before Rushdie, 75, was to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, a reporter for The Associated Press reportedly saw a man rush the stage and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie, who fell to the ground.
- Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, according to the New York State Police, and was transported to a local hospital in a helicopter. His condition is unknown.
- The assailant was restrained, and a group of people surrounded Rushdie and lifted his legs, “presumably to send more blood to his chest,” according to AP.
- Audience member Elisabeth Healey, 75, told The New York Times she saw one attacker who had “a loose black garment on.”
Who is Salman Rushdie? Born in India, Rushdie broke onto the literary scene when his second novel, “Midnight’s Children,” won the Booker Prize in 1981. In 2007, Rushdie was knighted for his literary accomplishments.
Rushdie’s 1988 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” was considered blasphemous by some, because it fictionalized parts of the Prophet Mohammad’s life. In 1989, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering Rushdie to be killed.
Iran’s government backed the fatwa until 1998. Although Iran no longer officially supports the killing, the edict was still in place with a reported bounty of $3.3 million as of 2012.