Salman Rushdie on ventilator, may lose an eye after being stabbed in New York
British Indian author Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage by a man as he was about to give a lecture in western New York on Friday. Hadi Matar, 24, a native of New Jersey, is in police custody, and it is learnt that he was acting alone. The police also added that Matar had a pass access to the event.
After being stabbed on Friday, author Salman Rushdie suffered severed nerves in an arm, liver damage, and would probably lose an eye, according to his agent, who also noted that Rushdie was on a ventilator. When the author was set to deliver a lecture in western New York, a man charged the stage and attacked him for his work, which had resulted in death threats from Iran in the 1980s.
Rushdie, 75, was rushed to a hospital bleeding. "It's not good news. Salman Rushdie's liver was stabbed and suffered damage, and it's possible that he may lose one of his eyes," according to Andrew Wylie, who had told the media that Rushdie was undergoing surgery.
In a news conference, the police verified the attacker's identity but stated that the attacker's motivation had not yet been established. New Jersey native Hadi Matar, 24, is being held by authorities and it is known that he acted alone. Additionally, the police stated that Matar had a pass to enter the event. One of the medical professionals who sprang in to aid, Dr. Martin Haskell, described Rushdie's injuries as "severe but treatable."
As Rushdie was being introduced on stage at the Chautauqua Institution, an Associated Press reporter witnessed a man approach him and start hitting or stabbing him 10 to 15 times. The 75-year-old author was shoved or knocked to the ground, and the offender was taken into custody.
Since 1988, Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses has been prohibited in Iran because many Muslims view it as blasphemous. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late president of Iran, called for Rushdie's execution in a fatwa, or decree, that was published a year later.
Although the Iranian government had long ago distanced itself from Khomeini's order, animosity for Rushdie persisted. The reward for Rushdie was increased from $2.8 million to $3.3 million in 2012 by a semi-official Iranian religious group.