Salman Rushdie was attacked during a reading in New York State. There were death threats against the author from Iran in the 1980s.
The author Salman Rushdie, who was sentenced to death by fatwa more than 30 years ago, has been attacked on a stage in New York state, according to several witnesses. He was allegedly stabbed in the neck, police said Friday, and an interviewer was also reportedly attacked. The perpetrator was arrested Friday at the venue in the town of Chautauqua, they said. Rushdie was taken to the hospital by helicopter, he said. “Nothing is known about his condition.” He said the interviewer had a head injury.
Because of his 1988 work “The Satanic Verses” (“Satanic Verses”), Rushdie had been issued a fatwa by then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini calling for his killing. Some Muslims felt that the work offended their religious sensibilities. Whether there is a connection is unclear so far.
According to a reporter for the AP news agency, the attacker allegedly stabbed Rushdie ten to 15 times in the neck before he went down. At 11 a.m. (local time, 5 p.m. CEST), “the male suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer,” police said. The New York Times quoted a witness to the attack as saying, “There was only one attacker.” It added: “He was dressed in black. He had a loose black garment on. He ran at him with lightning speed.” The TV channel CNN also quoted a witness who had seen the attack.
Rushdie sentenced to death in Iran
The Ayatollah’s Islamic legal opinion at the time called not only for the killing of Rushdie, but also of all those involved in the dissemination of the book. A Japanese translator was actually killed later. Rushdie had to go into hiding, received police protection. According to AP, the bounty on his head is three million dollars (about 2,926,350 euros).
According to his publisher last year, however, the fatwa of the Ayatollah has long since ceased to have any significance for Rushdie. He is no longer restricted in his freedom of movement and no longer needs bodyguards. However, the years of hiding did not pass him by without leaving a trace. He processed this time in the 2012 autobiography “Joseph Anton,” named after his alias.
Rushdie received the prestigious Booker Prize in 1981
Rushdie was born in the metropolis of Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1947, the year of Indian independence. He later studied history at King’s College, Cambridge. In his works, he deals primarily with the subject of migration. His breakthrough came with the book “Midnight’s Children,” which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1981 and has since twice been voted best Booker Prize winner. In it, he tells the story of India’s breakaway from the British Empire through the lives of protagonists born at the exact hour of independence and endowed with supernatural abilities.
In all, Rushdie published more than two dozen novels, nonfiction books, and other writings. Rushdie’s style has been called Magical Realism, in which realistic events are interwoven with fantastic ones. Nevertheless, he sees himself as unconditionally committed to the truth. This he sees increasingly in jeopardy, which is also at the heart of his recent publication of essays . In it, the writer, who has lived in New York for many years, takes a stand against Trumpists and Corona deniers. “Truth is a struggle, there’s no question about that. And perhaps never so much as now,” he said in an interview with U.S. broadcaster PBS last year.