CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – Salman Rushdie, the USA bestseller of TODAY, whose work resulted in death threats The author was attacked on Friday while the author was about to deliver an address on the Chautauqua Institution in the western part of New York, suffering stab injuries to his stomach and neck.
The agent of Rushdie, Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency told the writer was in the ventilator on Friday evening suffering from a damaged liver, broken nerves in the arm, and an eye which he could lose.
New York police said a state trooper who was assigned to the incident took the suspect into custody following the incident. At a press briefing they identified the person in question as Hadi Matar, 24, resident of Fairview, New Jersey, according to New York State Police Major Eugene Staniszewsk. The police have not “have any indication of a motivation at this time,” Staniszewsk said, adding that charges against Matar haven’t been made yet, as authorities cooperate together with the District Attorney’s office to examine evidence and track the health of Rushdie.
Earlier Friday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement that Rushdie “is 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, it seems.”
Travis Seward, general manager for 10Best at USA TODAY was at the ceremony. He saw an individual “bound” toward the stage from the audience , with their “arms out swinging.” Seward stated that he could not hear the man yell or anything, and Rushdie attempted to escape from the attacker but ended up falling.
“It’s really unsettling to everybody here,” Seward stated. “It’s a peaceful place and it was unexpected.”
Rushdie was transported to the hospital by helicopter, according to police that they said the “interviewer suffered a minor head injury.” Staniszewsk confirmed that the interviewer had been treated and discharged at the end of the day from the hospital.
The Chautauqua Institution “is currently coordinating with law enforcement and emergency officials on a public response,” according to a statement sent by the institution to USA TODAY.
Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, a non-profit organization working to protect freedom of expression by advancing of human rights and literature In an email statement on Friday that Rushdie was “targeted for his words.”
“PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie,” Nossel declared. “We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil. … We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.”
Rushdie has been a native of India. He is also a American novelist. He has written more than 12 books which includes six USA Today bestsellers. His novel “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since the end of the 1980s and many Muslims find it to be to be blasphemous. History.com declares, “The book mocked or at least contained mocking references to the Prophet Muhammad and other aspects of Islam, in addition to and a character clearly based on the Supreme Leader of Iran.”
Following the publication of the book in Iran, the country’s president Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an fatwa or edict in which he demanded that Rushdie’s execution be ordered.
The government of Iran has long moved away from the decree of Khomeini, however the anti-Rushdie sentiment persisted. In 2012 the year 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation increased the amount of money in support of Rushdie by $2.8 millions to $3.3 million.
It’s not known if the attack on Friday had any connection to the edict.
Rushdie rejected the threats at that time. The following year, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa.
Don Quixote, fentanyl and gun culture: Salman Rushdie’s “Quichotte is an enigma
Colleen Lough 65-year-old Colleen Lough, from Grosse Ile, Michigan, attended Chautauqua at the very first time in the past week. She was sitting just 20 rows away from the stage, where Rushdie was assaulted. She claimed that the attacker was wearing black clothing and wore “a black stocking or something like that” over his face.
“It was an absolute shock to see this happened before our eyes and people began screaming”No! No!’ ” she said.
Lough serves as an Episcopal Chaplain who has served for the church nearby Hurlbut Church, ministering to those who need help in dealing with what they saw.
“No one should ever have to fear danger or violence for saying what they think,” she declared. “Even in these political times, when many of us are not agreeing, everyone should be able to say what they think and have a discussion about it without fearing violence.”
Professor. Michael E. Hill Dr. Michael E. Hill, president of Chautauqua Institution, said at the press conference on Friday that the attack will not affect the people that the institution chooses as its speakers.
“This has been part of his whole life, to bring out ideas. He’s known as one of one of the most significant champions of freedom of speech. And I think the worst thing Chautauqua could do is to back away from its mission in light of this tragedy, and I don’t think Mr. Rushdie would want that either,” Hill stated.
His most recent novel, “Quichotte,” was released in the year the year. In the novel, Rushdie adds his own spin to this Miguel de Cervantes classic with contemporary Don Quixote that mocks the presidency of former US President, Trump’s America. The book has been long-listed for The Booker Prize.
The 2023 writer is set to release “Victory City: A Novel,” which follows an individual that “breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries,” according to the description of the novel.
Contributing: Kristen Shamus, The Detroit Free Press, USA TODAY Network; Joshua Goodman, The Associated Press