National Security

Salman Rushdie Stabbed On Stage During Speech

(Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage just before giving a speech at New York’s Chautauqua Institute at 11 a.m. Friday.

Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck after an unidentified male suspect rushed the stage and began attacking Rushdie ad an interviewer, according to a press release the New York State Police provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. He was transported to the hospital, where his condition remains unknown, while police “immediately” took the suspect into custody.

“State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY,” the police said.

“We will provide more details as we know them,” Jordan Steves, a communications director for the Chautauqua Institution, told the DCNF.

The attacker rushed the stage and began “punching or stabbing” Rushdie, The Associated Press previously reported.

Rushdie, a British-Indian novelist who has vocally supported Islam, previously had $3.3 million bounty on his head from Iranian leaders who called his writings blasphemous.

Rushdie is one of the “strongest advocates” for free speech, a spokesperson for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression told the DCNF.

“Unfortunately, there are those who wish us not to be free, who would rather use the assassin’s veto to compel belief and silence dissent,” the spokesperson added, apparently referencing the attacker.

Social media posts from alleged witnesses of the event suggested the audience was being evacuated.

The Chautauqua Institute “explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times,” according to the website, and aims to promote “excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.”

Rushdie angered Iranian revolutionary officials in the 1980’s with his book, The Satanic Verses, that the Islamist leadership viewed as an affront to their religion, according to the AP. Iran’s former Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued an official religious order calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989. (RELATED: DeSantis Presses Reporter, Asks Why Iran Leader Allowed To ‘Talk About Killing Jews’ On Social Media But Trump Is Banned)

After the response from Iran’s religious leadership to his writings, Rushdie publicly regretted his support for Islam.

“It was deranged thinking,” he said in 2008. “I simply thought I was making a statement of fellowship.”

“As soon as I said it, I felt as if I had ripped my own tongue out,” he said.

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