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BREAKING: Salman Rushdie, “SATANIC VERSES” author stabbed in New York

Author Salman Rushdie has been injured after being punched and stabbed on stage ahead of a speech he was due to give in Chautauqua, near Buffalo.

The writer, 75, was attacked as he was being introduced to the stage for the CHQ 2022 event before giving a lecture on Friday morning.

He was attending for a discussion of the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression.

Witnesses claimed that he managed to walk off stage with assistance and the attacker was restrained.

Blood appeared to be spattered on the wall behind where Rushdie had been attacked, with some also seen on a chair.

His current condition is not known, and a man has been arrested by New York police.

Rushdie’s London-based son Zafar, 42, is aware of the incident and his father has been seen being transported to an ambulance after the attack.

The author was knighted in 2007 in Britain ‘for services to literature’ by his friend Tony Blair.

Rushdie has previously received death threats for his writing, with his book the Satanic Verses which supposedly insulted the Prophet Mohammed and The Koran.

He wrote the Satanic Verses, which resulted in a culture war being sparked in 1988 in Britain – with protests taking place in the UK along with book burnings.

Pakistan banned the book, and he was issued a fatwa – a death sentence – by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989.

Khomeini called for the death of Rushdie and his publishers, and also called for Muslims to point him out to those who could kill him if they could not themselves.

The fatwa, or ‘spiritual opinion’, followed a wave of book burnings in Britain and rioting across the Muslim world which lead to the deaths of 60 people and hundreds being injured.

Rushdie was put under round-the-clock security at the expense of the British taxpayer when a $3million bounty was put on his head.

He was forced to go into hiding for a decade with police protection, and previously reported that he received a ‘sort of Valentines card’ from Iran each year letting him know the country has not forgotten the vow to kill him.

In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated The Satanic Verses into Japanese for Rushdie, was stabbed to death on the campus where he taught literature.

Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator of the book, was knifed in his apartment in Milan.

The novel’s Norwegian publisher William Nygaard, was shot three times outside his home and left for dead in October 1993, but survived the attack.

In Turkey, the book’s translator, Aziz Nesin, was the target of an arson attack on a hotel that killed 37.

In 1998 Iran’s reformist president relaxed the fatwa and said it had no intention of tracking Rushdie down and killing him.

Technically it still stands but is unlikely to be enforced.

(Agency Reports)

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