The author of ‘Satanic Verses’, Salman Rushdie, was attacked on Friday by an unknown man in western New York.
According to the Associated Press, a man confronted Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution where he was giving a lecture and began stabbing him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced.
Rabbi Charles Savenor who was among the hundreds of people in the audience, told the AFP that, “This guy ran onto the 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,” Mr Savenor said.
He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds.
A bloodied Rushdie was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.
Rushdie has been a prominent spokesman for free expression and liberal causes. He is a former president of PEN America, which said it was “reeling from shock and horror” at the attack.
The New York State Police while confirming the attack in a statement said, “State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY,” the statement read.
“On August 12, 2022, at about 11 a.m., a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.
“Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known.
“The interviewer suffered a minor head injury. A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene. More information will be released when it is available,” the statement added.