Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York

British author Salman Rushdie speaks as he presents his book “Quichotte” at the Volkstheater in Vienna, Austria, on 16 November 2019. — AFP/File 
  • Salman Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.
  • Video footage posted on social media show people rushing to his aid after he was attacked at event in Chautauqua County.
  • His novel was considered by Muslims as disrespectful to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

NEW YORK: British author Salman Rushdie, who wrote blasphemous content against the prophet of Islam (PBUH), was attacked on stage Friday in western New York state.

Video footage posted on social media showed people rushing to his aid after he was attacked at the event in Chautauqua County, with police confirming a stabbing while declining to immediately identify the victim.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s office said “we can confirm there was a stabbing,” without giving further details.

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.

The author, now 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India.

But his blasphemous book “The Satanic Verses” written in 1988, hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the globe, which lead Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to call for his death.

Rushdie, who was born in India to non-practising Muslims and himself is an atheist, was forced to go underground as a bounty was put on his head. 

A decade in hiding

He was granted police protection by the government in Britain, where he was at school and where he made his home. He spent nearly a decade in hiding, moving houses repeatedly and being unable to tell his children where he lived.

Rushdie only began to emerge from his life on the run in the late 1990s after Iran 1998 said it would not support his assassination.

Now living in New York, he is an advocate of freedom of speech, notably launching a strong defence of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after its staff were gunned down by militants in Paris in 2015.

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