Sir Salman Rushdie is “likely” to lose an eye after being stabbed in New York, his agent has revealed.
The creator of The Satanic Verses was attacked on stage at an event in New York state on Friday (12.08.22) and is now on a respirator and unable to speak, said his agent Andrew. Wiley confirmed in a statement.
Wiley said, “Saruman is likely to lose one eye, has a severed nerve in his arm, and a stab wound to his liver.”
Rushdie has suffered death threats from Muslims for years after the publication of his controversial 1988 novel The Satanic Verse, which was considered blasphemous by many Muslims.
The fatwa calling for Rushdie’s assassination was issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the author spent almost a decade in hiding after its publication.
The suspect in the attack was named Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from New Jersey.
New York State Police confirmed that the suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and interviewer Henry Reese at the Chautauqua Institute.
Police have not disclosed a motive or charges as they are obtaining a search warrant to search for backpacks and electronic devices found at the center.
Authorities have confirmed that Rushdie was stabbed at least once in both the neck and abdomen and the author was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Pennsylvania.
Witness Linda Abraham recalled that the suspect continued to attack Rushdie after he was detained.
She told The New York Times:
Rushdie’s attack led to an outpouring of support from both politicians and fellow writers, with writer Neil Gaiman saying he was “shocked and distressed” after the incident.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “I am appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed while exercising a right we must not stop defending.”