Author Salman Rushdie Attacked Onstage in New York

Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie was attacked on Friday as he prepared to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution, according to the Associated Press, which witnessed the incident.

An AP reporter saw a man storm the stage and begin “punching or stabbing” Rushdie as the author was being introduced. Rushdie wound up on the floor, and the man was restrained. A media contact for Chautauqua, a renowned summer arts and culture resort in Western New York, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A representative for the Chautauqua Institution Police Department said they did not have any information to provide.

The Satanic Verses, a novel, was banned in Iran after its 1988, considered blasphemous, and in 1989, Iran’s then-leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering the execution of the British-Indian author. Multiple assassination attempts on Rushdie followed. A bounty of $3 million was also offered for Rushdie’s killing. The Iran government has since distanced itself from the decree, but in 2012 an Iranian religious foundation upped the bounty to $3.3 million. 

Rolling Stone has reached out to Rushdie’s talent agency and publisher for updates on his condition, which was not immediately known at the time of the incident.

Tatiana Siegel contributed reporting

This story is developing 

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