After the operation, Rushdi is put on a respirator and cannot speak

PHOTO: Salman Rushdie after the attack on his way to the hospital - EPA EFE/@HoratioGates3

The famous author of Indian origin Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after Iranian authorities called on Muslims around the world to kill him for his writing, was stabbed in the head, neck and body yesterday during a lecture in New York and was airlifted to hospital, police said. , transmits H1.

After the operation, which lasted several hours, Rushdi was put on a respirator and unable to speak. Writers and politicians around the world condemned the attack on Rushdi.

"The news is not good. Salman is likely to lose one of his eyes. "Nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was punctured and damaged," said his agent Andrew Wylie.

Rushdi, 75, who at the time of the attack was representing the organizer of the event, was stabbed on stage at the Chautauqua Institute in western New York, where he was supposed to speak to hundreds of people about artistic freedom.

PHOTO. Salman Rushdie – EPA-EFE/HAYOUNG JEON

A New York State Police officer who was securing the event arrested the gunman. Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from Fairview, New Jersey, who purchased a ticket to the event.

"A man, I don't know where, jumped on the stage and attacked him, punching him in the chest and neck," said Bradley Fisher, who was in the audience.

A medic from the audience tended to Rushdi until emergency services arrived, police said. Henry Rees, the event's moderator, suffered a minor head injury. Police said they were working with federal investigators to determine a motive, but did not describe the weapon used. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan described the incident as "horrific".

"We are grateful to the citizens and first responders who helped him so quickly," he wrote on Twitter.

Rushdie, who was born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Mumbai, faced multiple death threats over his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, after which he moved to the United Kingdom. Some Muslims said the book contained blasphemous passages. This book was banned in many Muslim countries after its publication in 1988. A few months later, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against Rushdie calling on Muslims to kill him and everyone involved in the book's publication for blasphemy.

Rushdi, who called his novel "pretty bland," went into hiding for nearly a decade. Hitoshi Igarashi, the novel's Japanese translator, was murdered in 1991. The Iranian government said in 1998 that it would no longer support the fatwa, and Rushdi has lived relatively freely in recent years.

Iranian organizations, some linked to the government, have offered a million-dollar reward for Rushdi's murder. Khomeini's successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in 2019 that the fatwa was "irrevocable". Iran's semi-official Fars news agency and other news outlets donated money in 2016 to increase the reward by $600.

Fars called Rushdi an apostate who "insulted the prophet" in its report on Friday's attack. Rushdi published a memoir in 2012 about his closeted, secretive life after the fatwa called "Joseph Anton," the pseudonym he used while under British police protection.

He won the Booker Prize for his second novel, "Midnight's Children". His new novel "City of Victory" is due to be published in February next year. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was horrified that Rushdie had been "stabbed while exercising a right we should never stop defending". There were no security checks for the event at Chautauqua Institute, founded in the 19th century in the small lake town of the same name.

“I felt we needed more protection there because Salman Rushdie is not an ordinary writer. He is a writer who has a fatwa against him,” said Anour Rahmani, an Algerian writer and human rights activist who was in the audience.

Rushdi became an American citizen in 2016 and lives in New York. A self-described cultural Muslim and "hard-line atheist," Rushdi was a sharp critic of various religions. He also spoke about religious oppression in India, including under the current Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Salman Rushdie has been the target of attacks for decades for his words, but he has never backed down or wavered," said PEN America Executive Director Susan Nossel.

She added that early yesterday morning, Rushdie, who is the president of PEN America, emailed her to help resettle Ukrainian writers seeking asylum.

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