Novelist Salman Rushdie was reportedly stabbed before giving a speech in Chautauqua, New York.
An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.
Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death.
Iran has also offered over $3 million in reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.
“Just witnessed the horrific assassination attempt on #SalmanRushdie’s life. He was stabbed multiple times before attacker was subdued by security,” author Carl Levan tweeted shortly after the stabbing. “Some intrepid members of audience went on stage. What courage will be expected of us next to defend even the smallest freedoms?”
Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.
Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward.
That year, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa.
*Courtesy: Fox News