Salman Rushdie, the British author, was today attacked on stage during an event in New York. The author’s controversial writings made him the target of a fatwa that forced him to go into hiding.
Video footage from the event showed people rushing to Salman Rushdie’s aid after he was stabbed at the event in Chautauqua County.
Several authors and artists condemned the event and hoped that Salman Rushdie recovers quickly.
Author William Dalrymple called it a terrible day for literature. “A terrible day for literature, for freedom of speech and for authors everywhere. Poor poor Salman: I pray he’s not hurt and recovers quickly,” he said.
A terrible day for literature, for freedom of speech and for authors everywhere. Poor poor Salman: I pray he’s not hurt and recovers quickly https://t.co/JX5LGTMk5L
— William Dalrymple (@DalrympleWill) August 12, 2022
Stephen King, the author of several thriller and horror novels, wrote, “I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”
The author of “Go Back To Where You Came From”, Wajahat Ali tweeted, “Unhinged men wanting to police the world through violence. Salman Rushdie stabbed today. FBI attacked yesterday. I fear these examples of violence will only keep escalating with polarization, disinformation and extremism going mainstream.”
“If he is attacked, anyone who is critical of Islam can be attacked. I am worried, ” tweeted author Taslima Nasreen, who has been living in exile for nearly three decades after her book “Lajja” received severe criticism in Bangladesh.
I just learned that Salman Rushdie was attacked in New York. I am really shocked. I never thought it would happen. He has been living in the West, and he has been protected since 1989. If he is attacked, anyone who is critical of Islam can be attacked. I am worried.
— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) August 12, 2022
Lyricist Javed Akhtar condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie and urged the police to take strict action against the attacker. “I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic. I hope that NY police and the court will take the strongest action possible against the attacker,” he tweeted.
I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic . I hope that NY police and the court will take the strongest action possible against the attacker .
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) August 12, 2022
Salman Rushdie first rose to prominence with his novel “Midnight Children”, which won the Booker Prize in 1981. But his name became known around the world after “The Satanic Verses”. The book has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous.
Now living in New York, he is an advocate of freedom of speech, notably launching a strong defence of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after its staff were gunned down by Islamists in Paris in 2015.
Threats and boycotts continue against literary events that Rushdie attends, and his knighthood in 2007 sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a government minister said the honour justified suicide bombings.