Author Salman Rushdie, who has faced several death threats for his book The Satanic Verses, was attacked on Friday during an event in New York, The Associated Press reported.
A reporter of the news agency saw a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution began “punching or stabbing” Rushdie as he was being introduced before his speech at the event. The author fell to the floor, and the man was restrained, according to AP.
Some reports initially said that the Booker Prize winner had been stabbed, but the authorities have not confirmed details on the nature of the attack. Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.
A video shared on social media showed attendees rushing onto the stage immediately after the attack.
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“There was just one attacker,” said Elisabeth Healey, who was present at the event, the New York Times reported. “He was dressed in black. He had a loose black garment on. He ran with lightning speed over to him.”
The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, despite earning rave reviews and becoming a Booker Prize finalist, ran into controversy after being accused of blasphemy and mocking the Muslim faith.