Salman Rushdie was attacked on-stage by an assailant as he prepared to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution on Friday morning, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The report notes that the author of the controversial "The Satanic Verses" was just about to speak with his attacker rushed the stage punching and reportedly stabbing him.
"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," the report stated.
The novelist's life changed forever on February 14, 1989, when Iran's spiritual leader ordered Rushdie's execution after branding his novel "The Satanic Verses" blasphemous.
Like a kind of reverse Valentine, Tehran renewed the fatwa year after year.
Rushdie, who some say is the greatest writer India has produced since Tagore, spent 13 years living under a false name and constant police protection.
"I was 41 back then, now I am 71. Things are fine now," he said in a 2019 interview.
"We live in a world where the subject changes very fast. And this is a very old subject. There are now many other things to be frightened about -- and other people to kill," he added.
Rushdie stopped using an assumed name in the months after September 11, 2001.
In 2019, an account that reportedly belonged to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei was suspended after claiming the fatwa was still in effect.
“Imam Khomeini’s verdict regarding Salman Rushdie is based on divine verses and just like divine verses, it is solid and irrevocable,” the account tweeted.
With additional reporting by AFP
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