Salman Rushdie: Author on ventilator and unable to talk, agent says

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Image shows Salman Rushdie

Witnesses say Salman Rushdie was stabbed a number of occasions

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Salman Rushdie’s agent has mentioned “the news is not good” after the writer was stabbed at an occasion in New York state.

He was attacked on stage, and is now on a ventilator and unable to talk, Andrew Wylie mentioned in a press release, including that the writer will lose one eye.

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Mr Rushdie has suffered years of Islamist loss of life threats after writing The Satanic Verses, revealed in 1988.

Police detained a suspect named as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.

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New York State Police mentioned the suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer on the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state.

“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” his agent, Andrew Wylie mentioned.

No motive or costs have but been confirmed by police, who’re within the means of acquiring search warrants to look at a backpack and digital gadgets discovered on the centre.

Mr Rushdie was stabbed at the very least as soon as within the neck and within the stomach, authorities mentioned. He was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter.

Salman Rushdie being moved to a helicopterSalman Rushdie being moved to a helicopter

Salman Rushdie being moved to a helicopter

The interviewer who was with him on stage, Henry Reese, suffered a minor head damage and was taken to a neighborhood hospital. Mr Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit that gives sanctuary to writers exiled beneath menace of persecution.

Police advised a press convention that employees and viewers members had rushed the attacker and took him to the bottom, and he was then arrested.

Linda Abrams, an onlooker from town of Buffalo, advised The New York Times that the assailant stored attempting to assault Mr Rushdie after he was restrained.

“It took like five men to pull him away and he was still stabbing,” Ms Abrams mentioned. “He was just furious, furious. Like intensely strong and just fast.”

Another onlooker, Rita Landman, advised the paper that Mr Rushdie seemed to be alive instantly after the assault.

“People were saying, ‘He has a pulse, he has a pulse, he has a pulse’,” she mentioned.

A video posted on-line reveals the second folks rushed onto the stage to restrain the attacker and assist the injured males. Police mentioned a health care provider within the viewers gave Mr Rushdie first help.

Indian-born novelist Mr Rushdie catapulted to fame with Midnight’s Children in 1981, which went on to promote over a million copies within the UK alone.

But his fourth e-book, in 1988 – The Satanic Verses – pressured him into hiding for nearly ten years.

The surrealist, post-modern novel sparked outrage amongst some Muslims, who thought-about its content material to be blasphemous, and was banned in some nations.

A Japanese translator of the e-book was stabbed to loss of life in 1991. A couple of months later, an Italian translator was additionally stabbed and the e-book’s Norwegian writer was shot – however each survived. And a number of folks have been killed in anti-Rushdie riots, whereas the British embassy in Tehran was stoned.

A yr after the e-book’s launch, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini referred to as for Mr Rushdie’s execution. He provided a $3m (£2.5m) reward in a fatwa – a authorized decree issued by an Islamic non secular chief.

The bounty over Mr Rushdie’s head stays lively, and though Iran’s authorities has distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, a quasi-official Iranian non secular basis added an additional $500,000 to the reward in 2012.

The British-American citizen – who was born to non-practising Muslims and is an atheist himself – has change into a vocal advocate for freedom of expression, defending his work on a number of events.

Analysis by Aleem Maqbool, BBC religion editorAnalysis by Aleem Maqbool, BBC religion editor

Analysis by Aleem Maqbool, BBC faith editor

Salman Rushdie has confronted loss of life threats for greater than 30 years for the reason that publication of The Satanic Verses. Mr Rushdie mentioned the primary thrust of his novel was to look at the immigrant expertise, however some Muslims have been offended by portrayals of the Prophet Muhammed and the questioning of the character of the revelation of the Quran because the phrase of God.

The Satanic Verses was banned first within the writer’s nation of delivery, India, after which a number of different nations earlier than Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued his notorious fatwa.

The fatwa referred to as for the killing of anybody concerned within the publication of the e-book and provided rewards to those that took half within the murders. That fatwa has by no means formally been rescinded.

Surprised by the widespread nature of the protests, Salman Rushdie apologised to Muslims however went into hiding.

When Mr Rushdie was knighted in 2007 by the Queen, it sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, the place one cupboard minister mentioned the honour “justifies suicide attacks”.

Several literary occasions attended by Mr Rushdie have been topic to threats and boycotts – however he continues to jot down. His subsequent novel, Victory City, is because of be revealed in February 2023.

Salman Rushdie's life in numbersSalman Rushdie's life in numbers

Salman Rushdie’s life in numbers

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend.”

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote that Mr Rushdie “embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism” and was the sufferer “of a cowardly attack by the forces of hatred and barbarism”.

Writer and graphic novel creator Neil Gaiman mentioned he was “shocked and distressed” by the assault on his buddy and fellow author.

“He’s a good man and a brilliant one and I hope he’s okay,” Gaiman wrote on Twitter.

In a press release, Mr Rushdie’s publishers at Penguin Random House mentioned: “We condemn this violent public assault, and our thoughts are with Salman and his family at this distressing time.”

And New York Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to “assist however needed in the investigation” into the stabbing.

“Here’s an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power. Someone who’s been out there, unafraid, despite the threats that have followed him his entire adult life,” she mentioned.


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