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Author Salman Rushdie Brutally Attacked in New York

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Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born author who received death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked Friday morning in New York.

Police said a man rushed the stage during the Salman Rushdie interview. According to police, Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and transported by helicopter to a local hospital.

Hospital doctors said Rushdie was on a ventilator Friday evening, with a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose.

As of now, police have only identified Hadi Matar as the suspect in custody. The 24-year-old lives in Fair View, New Jersey. At a news conference Friday evening, State Police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski said no motive had been determined.

He was attending Chautauqua Institution’s lecture series as a guest speaker when the incident occurred. Police reported that a male suspect charged the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.

Salman Rushdie Transported By Helicopter

Salman Rushdie Transported By Helicopter

Rushdie was taken to a local hospital immediately after the suspect was taken into custody. It is not known what Rushdie’s condition is at this time, Staniszewski said.

Furthermore, he said the interviewer, Henry Reese, had been treated at a local hospital for a minor head injury.

Rushdie was visiting to discuss with Reese how the United States serves as an asylum for exiled writers.

In 1989, Iran’s leader issued death threats against Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses, one of his most popular books.

Throughout his career, Salman Rushdie author has championed freedom of expression. For ten years, he was chairman of PEN World Voices International Literary Festival and president of PEN America between 2004 and 2006.
The Iranian government has long since disassociated itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Salman Rushdie sentiment lingers. The bounty for Rushdie was raised from $2.8 million to $3.3 million in 2012 by a semi-official Iranian religious foundation.

It is unclear whether Friday’s attack was connected to the edict.

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