Author Salman Rushdie Attacked On Lecture Stage In New York

British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie - once the subject of a fatwa for his writing - has been stabbed in the neck while on stage at a literary event in New York.

Now, people are buying up copies of his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, in support of the author and in defiance of those who wish to silence him.

On Friday (12 August), Rushdie was on stage preparing to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution

Then, a man stormed the stage and stabbed him, as noted by an AP reporter who witnessed the attack.

Someone else who was supposed to interview Rushdie also was attacked.

Witnesses said Rushdie collapsed to the floor, and police detained the attacker.

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He received medical treatment on stage, and a video later showed him being taken by stretcher to a medical evacuation helicopter.

New York state police said 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 attacker has also reportedly been detained by officials.

Once news broke of Rushdie's unfortunate murder, many said that they are purchasing The Satanic Verses to stand up for religious freedom and honour the writer.

One person on Twitter wrote: "Hi everyone, @SalmanRushdie is amazing, and everyone should go buy his new book AND The Satanic Verses as a huge F*** YOU to dead ass rotting Khomeini and anyone threatening free expression by any religion."

"Never thought I would do it, but looks like it is time to buy a copy of Satanic Verses to understand why peaceful people still haven't forgotten to deliver justice to #SalmanRushdie even after 34 years," another added.

A third wrote: "Stabbed 10-15 times for writing words! Not very different from the 10+ people murdered in India for the exactly same reason.

"Going to buy 10 copies of Satanic Verses and distribute across the open libraries here."

There is no official motive for the assault, but it may have to do with the over three-decade-long controversy over The Satanic Verses, which prompted many threats against his life.

On Valentine's Day 1989, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa or legal opinion which called upon "all brave Muslims" to murder the writer and those who helped to translate and sell the book to the world.

A $3m bounty was attached to the fatwa.

Rushdie's murder comes as the tension between the US and Iran escalated in recent years, followed by the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the 2020 assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

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