Breaking: Author Salman Rushdie stabbed onstage at New York event


Indian-born author and Booker of Bookers winner Salman Rushdie was stabbed onstage at an event in New York state, several independent eyewitnesses said. The condition of Rushdie, who was seen collapsing onstage, was not immediately known at the time of filing this story (12:19 pm New York time).

According to witnesses indica spoke to, a man was seen rushing to the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state and attacking Rushdie as he was being introduced. Reuters news agency reported that the attacker was subsequently restrained.

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.

The Chautauqua Institution is a nonprofit education center and summer resort for adults and youth located in Chautauqua, New York, 17 miles northwest of Jamestown in the southwestern part of New York State.

“We are dealing with an emergency situation. I can share no further details at this time,” a Chautauqua Institution spokesperson said when contacted by Reuters.

Rushdie was born into a Muslim family in June 1947 in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, two months before the country gained independence from the British.

His second novel Midnight’s Children is regarded as a modern classic and won the Booker of Bookers honor. The award had pitted all the Booker Prize winners. His fourth novel, Satanic Verses, invited the wrath of the then Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini who issued a fatwa (religious edict) against him for allegedly writing “blasphemous passages.” The novel was banned in many countries with large Muslim populations upon its 1988 publication, including in India. The Ayatollah’s fatwa called upon Muslims to kill Rushdie. Iran later backed away from the fatwa, allowing Rushdie to appear in public more often.

According to the Chautauqua Institution website, Rushdie was to take part in a discussion about the United States serving as asylum for writers and artists in exile and “as a home for freedom of creative expression.”