- By Sam Cabral
- BBC News, Washington
Author Salman Rushdie, who suffered years of Islamist death threats after writing The Satanic Verses, was attacked onstage in New York state.
This article is likely to be updated
The Booker Prize winner, 75, was speaking at an event at the Chautauqua Institution at the time.
New York State Police said a suspect came on stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer.
“Rushdie was apparently stabbed in the neck,” the police statement read.
Man arrested after perpetrator assaulted on stage
The author was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. His condition is not known at this time.
The interviewer, Henry Reese, also suffered a minor head injury. Mr. Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that provides refuge for exiled writers under threat of persecution.
The suspect was immediately taken into custody, police said.
Video posted online shows participants rushing to the stage immediately after the incident.
The Indian-born novelist shot to fame with Midnight’s Children in 1981, which sold over a million copies in the UK alone.
But Mr. Rushdie’s fourth book, in 1988 – The Satanic Verses – forced him into hiding for nine years.
The surreal, postmodern novel sparked outrage among some Muslims, who considered its content blasphemous, and was banned in some countries.
A year after the book’s publication, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for Mr Rushdie’s execution and offered a $3 million reward.
Dozens of people died in the violence that followed its publication, including murdered translators of the book.
The bounty on Mr Rushdie’s head remains active, although the Iranian government has distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree.
The author, who has British and American nationality, is a strong defender of freedom of expression and has defended his work on several occasions.
When he was knighted in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II, it sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a cabinet minister said the honor “justified suicide bombings”.
Literary events Mr. Rushdie has participated in have faced threats and boycotts in the past.
His appearance at the Chautauqua Institution event in western New York was the first in a series of summer conferences hosted by the nonprofit.
A spokesman for the organization’s on-site police service declined to comment when contacted by the BBC.
An artist on site said rehearsals were proceeding as normal this morning until the attack inside his amphitheater.
The venue has since been locked down, she said.
We wish to give thanks to the author of this short article for this incredible content
Novelist Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck on stage – BBC News BBC Homepage