Salman Rushdie was placed on a ventilator after he was stabbed at least twice at a lecture. He 'will likely lose one eye,' his agent said.
- Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at the Chautauqua Institution on Friday.
- The writer was stabbed at least twice, once in the neck and once in the abdomen, NY State Police said.
Salman Rushdie, a prolific British writer whose fourth novel "The Satanic Verses" has led to decades of death threats, was placed on a ventilator and suffered severe damage after he was stabbed on Friday at a nonprofit education center.
"The news is not good," Rushdie'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."
Wylie also said that Rushdie, 75, could not speak.
On Friday morning, Rushdie was at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, to give a lecture when an attacker lunged at him on stage and dealt Rushdie with at least two stabs, according to New York State Police commander Eugene Staniszweski.
He was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, Staniszweski said. Rushdie was transported to a hospital by helicopter to receive surgery.
The suspect is in custody and was identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, according to NY State Police.
No information was immediately available on Matar's background.
The suspect's motive was unclear, according to authorities, but the incident has brought back discussions of Rushdie's 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses," and the death threats that came with them due to the novel's subject matter.
The book, which centers on two Indian Muslim actors who survive a plane hijacking, was said to have been inspired by the Islamic prophet Muhammad and references him throughout.
Some have interpreted Rushdie's depiction of the prophet as offensive and disrespectful to Islam.
Countries soon banned the novel, including India, South Africa, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
In 1989, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini placed a fatwa against Rushdie, calling for his assassination. The writer had to be placed under protection by the British government and kept his location secret while writing.
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