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Author Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in upstate New York

#Author #Salman #Rushdie #attacked #stage #upstate #York

British author Salman Rushdie, whose writings made him the target of Iranian death threats that forced him into hiding, was attacked on a stage in western New York state on Friday.

Video footage posted to social media showed people rushing to his aid after he was attacked at the Chautauqua County event. Police confirmed a stab, but declined to immediately identify the victim.

“A most horrific event has just happened at the #chautauquainstitution – Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at #chq2022. The amphitheater is being evacuated,” a witness said on social media.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said “we can confirm that there was a stabbing,” without giving further details.

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.

The author, now 75, rose to prominence in 1981 with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, which received international praise and the UK’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India.

But his 1988 book The Satanic Verses drew attention beyond his imagination when it triggered a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for his death at the hands of Iran’s revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The novel was viewed by some Muslims as disrespectful to the Prophet Muhammad.

Rushdie, who was born in India to non-practicing Muslims and is an atheist himself, was forced underground when a bounty was placed on his head – which remains to this day.

– A decade in hiding –

After the murder or attempted murder of his translators and publishers, the government gave him police protection in Britain, where he went to school and where he lived.

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

Rushdie only emerged from his life on the run in the late 1990s after Iran declared in 1998 that it would not support his assassination.

He now lives in New York and is a free speech advocate. In particular, he has strongly defended the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after its employees were shot dead by Islamists in Paris in 2015.

The magazine had published drawings of Mohammed that provoked angry reactions from Muslims around the world.

Literary events Rushdie attends continue to face threats and boycotts, and his knighting in 2007 sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a government minister said the honor justifies suicide bombings.

The fatwa failed to stifle Rushdie’s writing, however, and inspired his memoir Joseph Anton, named after his alias while in hiding and written in the third person.

At over 600 pages, Midnight Children has been adapted for stage and screen, and its books have been translated into more than 40 languages.

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