Author Salman Rushdie is likely to lose one of his eyes and is currently on a ventilator after being attacked on stage at a literary event in upstate New York on Friday, according to a report.
“The news is not good,” the 75-year-old writer’s agent, Andrew Wylie, told The New York Times.
“Salman will probably lose an eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wylie said.
Rushdie, who is still unable to speak, was attacked by a lone man while speaking at an event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, about 75 miles south of Buffalo.
He was to speak of the United States as a place for exiled authors “as a home for free speech”, according to the institute. After being stabbed, he was airlifted to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania.
A witness who was in the audience told the Post that Rushdie tried to flee from the stage and the two men fought before audience members rushed to the stage to subdue the assailant.
Her alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, was arrested by a state trooper at the scene, The Times reported.
Rushdie’s controversial 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ prompted Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death for what he claimed were blasphemous references to Islam .
The author, who was born into a Muslim family in Mumbai, India, lived in hiding under the protection of the British government from 1989 to 2002.
“We ask for your prayers for Salman Rushdie and Henry Reese, and your patience as we fully focus on coordinating and cooperating with law enforcement officials following a tragic incident at the Amphitheater today,” said the Chautauqua institution in a statement posted on its website. “All programs at the facility are canceled for the rest of the day.
New York Post