Author Salman Rushdie injured in stabbing ahead of speech in western New York
Rushdie's writing has previously led to death threats.
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Author Salman Rushdie was reportedly injured Friday morning after being stabbed in the neck ahead of a speech in western New York.
The writer was stabbed as he took the stage prior to delivering a speech in Chautauqua, New York on Friday.
The man who executed the attack was restrained and is now in custody. Rushdie's condition is unclear. Following the attack, the 75-year-old author fell to the ground and was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, reports the Associated Press.
Rushdie was then taken by helicopter to a local hospital, where he is undergoing surgery. The attacker's motivations are, at this time, unknown.
Hundreds of audience members at the literary festival gasped at the sight of the attack before being evacuated. The event was described as a "discussion of the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression."
Since 1988, Rushdie's book "The Satanic Verses" has been banned in Iran, as it is considered by many Muslims to be blasphemous. In 1989, Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) thanked first responders following the attack and said her thoughts are with the writer following the "horrific event."