Celebrated Author Salman Rushdie Stabbed on Lecture Stage in New York
By TOI Team August 13, 2022 Update on : August 13, 2022
A guy rushed the stage where Indian-born author Salman Rushdie was scheduled to speak on Friday morning in New York, according to the New York State Police. In the 1980s, Iran threatened the author’s life. Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and chest and flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, according to the police.
The suspect in arrest is a 24-year-old guy from Fairview, New Jersey called Hadi Matar, according to the police. State Police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski stated during a press conference on Friday night that a motive has not yet been determined.
The 75-year-old world-famous author was a guest speaker at a lecture series at the Chautauqua Institution when the event took place. A man suspect stormed the stage and assaulted Rushdie and an interviewer at about 11 a.m. ET, according to a police report.
Rushdie was rushed to a nearby hospital when the culprit was quickly brought into jail. According to The Associated Press, Rushdie’s agency said that the author had had surgery and was now on a ventilator with a damaged liver, severed nerves in his arm, and the potential loss of one eye.
Staniszewski said that Henry Reese, the interviewer, had had brief treatment for a head injury at a nearby hospital and had since been discharged.
Reese stood on stage with Rushdie during the assault and is a co-founder of City of Asylum, a residence program for authors in exile.
According to Michael Hill, president of the Chautauqua Institution, security requirements for events are evaluated on an individual basis.
At the press conference, he said, “I would say we take our security measures very, very seriously.
Due to the significance of this specific occasion, the institution claimed to have a state trooper and a sheriff’s officer there. Like other participants, Matar had paid a pass for the occasion, according to Hill.
“What we experienced at Chautauqua today is an incident unlike anything in our nearly 150-year history,” Hill said. “Today, now, we’re called to take on fear and the worst of all human traits; hate.”
According to the Chautauqua Institution’s event website, Rushdie was in town to speak with Reese on how the United States acts as a haven for authors who are in exile.
Rushdie has published 14 books, including The Satanic Verses, one of his best-known works, which in 1989 prompted the government of Iran to issue a death threat on the author.
In addition to his writing, Rushdie has always defended the value of freedom of speech. Between 2004 and 2006, he presided over PEN America. Subsequently, he oversaw the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival for ten years.
The incident startled the group, according to PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel in a statement. Just hours before the assassination, Rushdie had sent her an email offering to aid Ukrainian authors who were seeking sanctuary.
“Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered,” Nossel said. “He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced.”
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