Rushdie’s work earned him death threats from the Iranian government and the ire of Muslims around the world in the 1980s, because of his anti-Islam book “The Satanic Verses,” which was banned by Iran in 1988.
UPDATE! (NY Post) The man arrested in Friday’s stabbing of famed novelist Salman Rushdie was identified by police as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey New Jersey man, who law enforcement sources tell The Post he had sympathies toward the Iranian government that has called for Rushdie’s death.
Matar was arrested after he stormed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York and allegedly stabbed the author multiple times, New York State Police said Friday. An Associated Press reporter witnessed the attacker confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch and stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced.
Rushdie suffered stab wounds to the neck and abdomen, and remained in surgery at a nearby trauma center Friday evening, according to police. Dr. Martin Haskell, a physician who was among those who rushed to help, described Rushdie’s wounds as “serious but recoverable.”
Law enforcement sources told The Post that an initial investigation suggests Matar has made social media posts in support of Iran and its Revolutionary Guard, and in support of Shi’a extremism more broadly.
New York State Police, however, said that Matar’s motive remained unclear.
FOX News Author Salman Rushdie was attacked at a literary event in upstate New York Friday, when an assailant stormed the stage soon after his introduction. The man proceeded to stab Rushdie, who was scheduled to talk at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., some 75 miles south of Buffalo.
An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.
A witness, Ward Pautler, told The Daily Beast that Rushdie had just come out on stage when a man who was “heavy set and wearing a black headpiece (Islamic?)” rushed the stage.
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 also offered over $3 million in reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.
, Rushdie addressed the killings by Muslims of 12 people at the Paris satirical magazine , saying the right to free speech is absolute or else it isn’t free.
UPDATE 2 (NY POST) Author Salman Rushdie is likely to lose one of his eyes and is currently on a ventilator after he was attacked on stage at a literary event in upstate New York on Friday, a report said.
“The news is not good,” the 75-year-old writer’s agent, Andrew Wylie, told The New York Times.
“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” said Wylie.
UPDATE 3 (Daily Mail) The man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie held a fake driver’s license bearing the surname of an infamous Hezbollah commander, it has been claimed.
That driver’s license, which was was found on 24-year-old Hadi Mater bore the name Hassan Mughniyah. Both the first and second names are linked to infamous terrorist organization Hezbollah. The group’s current leader is named Hassan Nasrallah. While one of the group’s most notorious figures was Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a CIA-linked assassination in Syria in 2008.
Thirteen One of Salman Rushdie’s books, “Joseph Anton,” is a memoir of living under threat of death for writing the novel, “The Satanic Verses,” in which Rushdie used narrative elements from Islam. For that perceived blasphemy, on Feb. 14, 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called for the execution of Rushdie and anyone responsible for publishing the book.
Rushdie survived unscathed and the “fatwa” ordering his death was ended by the Iranian government in 1998, but his days in hiding were marked by violence. In 1989, bookstores carrying his novel were firebombed and in 1991, Rushdie’s Italian and Japanese translators were stabbed within weeks of each other — the latter died. In 1993, Rushdie’s Norwegian publisher was shot and seriously wounded.
In America, publishers and book sellers flinched at the fatwa immediately. Major book chains B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble pulled “Satanic Verses” from the shelves citing fear for employee safety, and many independent bookstores bravely stood their ground for principles of freedom, as was the case for Paperbacks Plus in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
The Riverdale Press covered Paperbacks Plus’s decision to carry Rushdie’s novel in an editorial that supported the public’s right to read the work. After the editorial came out, the weekly paper’s office was firebombed and completely destroyed early in the morning of Feb. 28, 1989.