Author Salman Rushdie Attacked: Motive, Suspect & What happened on stage in New York? Explained

Salman Rushdie, a British-American author who received death threats from Iran in the 1980s due to his writing, was assaulted on stage at an event in New York, according to the Associated Press. Iran has threatened the author’s life because of “The Satanic Verses.”

Author Salman Rushdie Attacked on lecture stage

After publishing The Satanic Verses, author Salman Rushdie received years of death threats from Islamists. Recently, he was attacked on stage in New York.

 male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer


At the time, the Booker Prize winner was delivering a speech at a Chautauqua Institution gathering.

In the 1980s, Salman Rushdie received death threats from Iran because of his writing. On Friday, as he prepared to deliver a lecture in western New York, he was attacked.

What happened to Salman Rushdie on stage in New York?

Salman Rushdie was attacked while performing on stage at the non-profit Chautauqua Institution in western New York.

Salman Rushdie and Henry Reese were the speakers for the event, which was part of a series on “redefining the American home” in the twenty-first century. It was planned to include a “discussion of the United States as a home for freedom of creative expression as well as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile.”

The organisation had joined with City of Asylum, a residence programme for writers who were fleeing persecution and living in exile.

On a crowded theatre, people can be seen in a video leaving their seats right after the incident.

As Rushdie was being introduced, an Associated Press reporter witnessed a man attack the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and start hitting or stabbing Rushdie. The author collapsed to the ground as the man was handcuffed.

Rushdie’s condition wasn’t known right away. The stage’s panel was covered with blood splatters as the injured writer received first aid. A large portion of the audience was ejected.

Salman Rushdie’s condition

Salman Rushdie’s condition is still unknown at this time.

As Rushdie was being introduced, an Associated Press reporter saw a man attack the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and start hitting or stabbing Rushdie.

Rushdie was seen on the ground receiving treatment with his legs up after the attacker was subdued.

Motive behind the attack of Author Salman Rushdie

Iran has outlawed Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” since 1988 because many Muslims view it as disrespectful. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late president of Iran, called for Rushdie’s execution in a fatwa, or decree, that was published a year later. Rushdie’s assassination has apparently attracted a bounty of more than $3 million.

After the fatwa was announced, Rushdie lived in secrecy and under police protection for nine years. The Norwegian publisher of the book was assassinated three times on an Oslo street at that time. Up until 2001, Rushdie continued to go by a false name in public.

Although the Iranian government had long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s order, animosity for Rushdie persisted. Rushdie’s reward was increased from $2.8 million to $3.3 million in 2012 by a semi-official Iranian religious institution.

At the time, Rushdie rejected that threat, claiming there was “no proof” that anyone would be interested in the reward. In that year, he released a memoir titled “Joseph Anton” that discussed the fatwa.

The bounty over Mr Rushdie’s head 

The violence that erupted after its release claimed the lives of dozens of people, including the work’s translators who were killed.

Despite Iran’s government’s distancing from Khomeini’s order, the bounty on Mr. Rushdie’s head is still in place.

The author, who holds dual citizenship in the US and the UK, is a strong supporter of the right to free speech and has defended his writing on numerous occasions.

The non-summer profit’s lecture series began with his appearance at the Chautauqua Institution event in western New York.

Author Salman Rushdie Attacked: Motive, Suspect & What happened on stage in New York? Explained
Author Salman Rushdie Attacked: Motive, Suspect & What happened on stage in New York? Explained

When approached by the BBC, a spokesperson for the organization’s on-site police department declined to comment.

An artist at the location claimed that rehearsals had been proceeding normally up until the attack inside the amphitheatre this morning.

Since then, she added, the area has been under lockdown.

The Satanic Verses

  • As soon as Salman Rushdie’s surrealist, post-modern book was published in 1988, it provoked protests, requests for a ban, and anger. However, there were also counter-demonstrations opposing censorship and book burning.
  • Things reached a whole new level when Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s then Supreme Leader, issued an edict or fatwa calling for Rushdie’s execution. This sparked a major diplomatic crisis around the world.
  • 49 persons perished worldwide; this number includes those killed in murders of translators and those killed in protests.
  • Due to the threats, Rushdie himself went into seclusion for nine years.
  • Many Muslims believe the book is blasphemous, while Rushdie, an outspoken supporter of free speech, claims it is not.
  • Although several Iranian governments have taken steps to distance themselves from Khomeini’s proclamation, hardliners in Iran maintain that it is still in effect.

Also read

Who is Author Salman Rushdie?

Rushdie, 75, was born in India and acquired British and American citizenships in 1964 and 2016, respectively. He first gained notoriety with the 1981 publication of “Midnight’s Children,” which won the Booker Prize, and after the publication of “The Satanic Verses,” his popularity spread throughout the globe.

The Chautauqua Institution is well-known for its summer lecture series. It is located about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo in a rural area of New York. Rushdie has previously spoken there.

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