After the stabbing incident, Salman Rushdie undergoes emergency surgery

British writer Salman Rushdie, whose 1989 founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa for his novel “The Satanic Verses”, underwent emergency surgery, after he was stabbed in the neck on the same day during a conference in western New York state.

Immediately after he was attacked on the stage of a cultural center in Chutokoa, northwest New York, Rushdie was taken by helicopter to the nearest hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, his agent Andrew Wylie said on Twitter, promising to provide regular information about the health status of the 75-year-old novelist who has lived in New York since several years.

Carl Levan, a political science professor who was in the hall, told AFP by phone that a man rushed to the podium where Rushdie was sitting and “stabbed him violently several times.” The witness said that the attacker “tried to kill Salman Rushdie.”

And the New York Police announced in a statement that Rushdie was stabbed in the neck in an attack that targeted him before he gave a lecture on Friday, noting that there was no information about his condition and confirmed arrest of the suspect.

“A suspect rushed to the platform and attacked Rushdie and his interlocutor. Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and taken by helicopter to a hospital in the area. There is no information yet on his condition,” a police statement said.

New York Democratic Governor Cathy Huchel said that Rushdie is alive, describing him as “an individual who has spent decades confronting power with truth.”

“We condemn all forms of violence, and we want people to feel free to speak and write the truth,” she said.

An officer in charge of controlling the security of the lecture arrested the suspect, while Rushdi’s interlocutor sustained a head injury.

Videos circulated on social media showed people rushing to the writer’s help after he was assaulted.

A witness said on the communication sites, “A terrible event just happened at the Chutokoa Foundation, Salman Rushdie was attacked on the platform, the place has been evacuated.”

As a result, the Chutokoa Foundation, which deals with arts and literature in an area located 110 kilometers south of Buffalo, confirmed in a statement that it is coordinating with law enforcement and emergency services.

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his solidarity with the writer Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed in the neck while he was preparing to give a lecture in New York State, stressing, “Today we are by his side more than ever.”

“For 33 years, Salman Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism… His struggle is our struggle, a global struggle. Today, we stand with him more than ever,” Macron wrote on Twitter.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the “appalling” attack on the British writer.

In a tweet, Johnson condemned the attack on Rushdie, “while exercising a right we must not stop defending”, in reference to freedom of expression.

Rushdie, now 75, became famous after he released his second novel, “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international accolades and the Booker Prize. The novel deals with India’s march from British colonialism to independence and beyond.

But his novel “The Satanic Verses” published in 1988 sparked a great deal of controversy, and the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa to shed his blood.

Some Muslims considered the novel offensive to the Prophet Muhammad.

Rushdie, an atheist, born in India to non-practicing Muslim parents, was forced into hiding after she allocated a financial reward for whoever killed him, and it is still valid.

The British government placed Rushdie under police protection in the UK and his translators and publishers were killed or attempted murders.

In 1991, the Japanese man, Hitoshi Igarashi, who had translated his book “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed to death.

Rushdie remained hidden for about a decade, and he changed his residence repeatedly and was unable to inform his children of his place of residence.

Rushdie did not resume his public appearances until the late 1990s, after Iran announced that it did not support his assassination.

Rushdie currently resides in New York and is an activist in the defense of freedom of expression. He strongly defended the French satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” after Islamists targeted it in a 2015 attack, during which they liquidated its employees, especially members of the editorial board.

The newspaper had republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which provoked angry reactions in the Islamic world.

Threats and boycotts continued to haunt Rushdie’s literary occasions, and his 2007 knighthood in Britain sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a minister said the honor justified suicide bombings.

However, the fatwa on Wasting His Blood did not discourage Rushdie from writing and preparing his memoirs in a novel entitled Joseph Anton, which is the pseudonym he adopted during his disappearance, and he wrote it in the absentee form.

His more than 600-page novel “Midnight’s Children” has been adapted for theater and the silver screen, and his books have been translated into more than 40 languages.

In the fall of 2018, Rushdie said, “It has been 31 years.” Others are frightening, other people have to be killed…”.

InterAmerica’s president, Susan Nossel, declared that the free speech advocacy group was “shocked” by the “horrific” attack.

“Rushdi emailed me Friday morning hours before the attack to help find housing for Ukrainian writers looking for a safe haven from the great dangers they face,” Nossell said in a statement.

She expressed the Foundation’s “solidarity” with “Salman Al-Shoja”, wishing him a speedy and complete recovery, adding, “We express our hope and conviction that his pioneering voice cannot and will not be silenced.”

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