Author Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in New York
Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses was banned in Iran in 1988 for being 'blasphemous'. Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's death
Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked on Friday as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.
An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.
Rushdie's condition was not immediately known.
Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's death.
A bounty of over USD 3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.
Iran's government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini's decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from USD 2.8 million to USD 3.3 million.
Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was no evidence of people being interested in the reward.
That year, Rushdie published a memoir, Joseph Anton, about the fatwa.