AceShowbiz - A suspect in Salman Rushdie stabbing has been detained. After decades of death threats for the writer's controversial novel, the "Satanic Verses" writer, 75, was stabbed with a knife on Friday (12.08.22) in New York.
The novelist was giving a speech at the Chautauqua Institution when his alleged attacker stormed the stage. A man ran on stage and began stabbing him in the neck when the Indian-born writer was being introduced.
Pictures from the scene showed Rushdie lying on the stage as a crowd surrounds him. Blood could be seen splattered across a screen in the lecture theatre and a chair Rushdie was sitting on, with a first aid kit also apparently visible in the picture. His condition is still unknown.
Rushdie was taken on a stretcher to a waiting air ambulance. Panicked crowds were evacuated from the theatre immediately after the attack and reports now say a suspect is in custody following the attack, with pictures seeming to show him being led away by police at the scene.
New York State Police confirmed, "State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY."
"On August 12, 2022, at about 11 am, a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer. 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 interviewer suffered a minor head injury."
"A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene. More information will be released when it is available."
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Thank you to the swift response of @nyspolice first responders following today's attack of author Salman Rushdie."
"Our thoughts are with Salman and his loved ones following this horrific event. I have directed State Police to further assist however needed in the investigation."
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, with a bounty of more than $3 million (£2.5 million) offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.
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 £2.3 million ($2.8 million) to $3.3 million (£2.7 million.) Rushdie dismissed the threat at the time, saying there was "no evidence" of people being interested in the reward.
That year, Rushdie published memoir "Joseph Anton" about the fatwa. Rushdie has continued to receive death threats and was forced to live in hiding under constant armed guard for nine years to keep him safe.
Born into a liberal Muslim family, dad-of-two Rushdie is married to third wife, 51-year-old writer and model Padma Lakshmi.
He became an atheist before being knighted for services to literature in 2007.