NEW YORK, 12 August. British writer Salman Rushdie was attacked onstage in western New York today for his writing, which caused Iran to threaten him with death, forcing him to go into hiding.
Video footage posted on social media shows people quickly contacted him after he was attacked during an incident in Chautauqua County, with police confirming his stab wound but refusing to immediately identify the victim.
The most horrific incident just happened at #chautauquainstitution – Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage in #chq2022. The amphitheater has been evacuated,” one witness said on social media.
“We can confirm that someone was stabbed,” the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said, without giving details.
The 75-year-old writer rose to prominence in 1981 with his second novel, Midnight Child, which received international acclaim and the prestigious British Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India.
But his The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, attracted more attention than he could have imagined, as it called forth a fatwa, or religious decree, demanding that Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini put him to death.
Born in India to a non-religious Muslim family, Rushdie was himself an atheist and was forced into hiding because of a bounty on his head that still exists today.
After the assassination or attempted assassination of his translator and publisher, he received police protection from the British government, where he went to school and settled.
He spent nearly a decade on the run, constantly moving, unable to tell his children where he lives.
Rushdie only began to emerge from life on the run in the late 1990s, after Iran announced in 1998 that it would not support his assassination.
He now lives in New York and advocates for free speech, especially after the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was gunned down by Islamists in Paris in 2015.
Threats and boycotts of Rushdie’s literary events continued, and his 2007 knighthood sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, an honor that the government minister says justifies suicide bombings.
However, the fatwa did not interfere with Rushdie’s work and inspired his memoirs of Joseph Anton, named after his pseudonym, while hiding and writing in the third person.
With over 600 pages, Midnight’s Children has been adapted for stage and screen, and his books have been translated into over 40 languages. – AFP
Post time: Aug-15-2022