Famous author Salman Rushdie, who faced numerous death threats for his liberal and anti-extremism views, was stabbed by an attacker while on stage where he was scheduled to give a lecture in western New York.
According to AP News which cited several witness reports, the 75-year-old author was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution near Buffalo, New York, when an assailant suddenly leaped onto the stage and began punching or stabbing Rushdie 10 to 15 times before being arrested. The author was immediately rushed the hospital via helicopter, but his condition remains unknown. “This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten,” Rabbi Charles Savenor, who was part of the audience, was quoted as saying.
Rushdie spent his career promoting liberal values and freedom of expression, and has faced decades of death threats from Iran. Many Muslims consider his 1988 novel titled The Satanic Verses as blasphemous, staging protests against the author all around the world, including one riot in Mumbai that resulted in 12 fatalities. His book was banned in Iran, and former leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini even issued an edict for his death. There is currently a $3 million bounty for Rushdie’s death, which ultimately prompted the novelist to go into hiding with the aid of the British Government’s protection program.
Following nine years of living under the protection of armed guards, Rushdie emerged to make several public appearances to continue his criticism of religious extremism.
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