Terror and blood shatter tranquil arts festival after attack on Salman Rushdie

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The Chautauqua summertime arts festival successful upstate New York is usually a calm and pleasant affair, drafting thousands of literary-minded radical anxious to commune with their favourite writers.

That changed dramatically connected Friday, erstwhile the famed novelist Salman Rushdie, who had conscionable walked connected to a signifier to springiness a lecture, was stabbed by a antheral wielding a weapon – transforming the faculty-lounge ambiance into a blood-spattered scene.

The shocking events unfolded successful seconds and stunned onlookers.

Rushdie, who has been targeted for decease implicit accusations that his prize-winning 1988 caller The Satanic Verses is blasphemous, was sitting successful a seat connected the signifier arsenic a panelist introduced him and his work. A antheral dressed successful achromatic rushed the signifier and attacked Rushdie.

“I could conscionable spot his fists benignant of pounding connected Salman,” a witness, Bill Vasu, told the New York Times.

As members of the assemblage screamed, radical ran to tackle the attacker and render assistance to Rushdie, who had been seemingly stabbed respective times, including successful the neck. Rushdie laic look up connected the floor, arsenic idiosyncratic elevated his legs. He was “covered with humor and determination was humor moving down connected to the floor” arsenic radical crouched implicit him saying, “He has a pulse, helium has a pulse,” 2 different witnesses told the Times.

A authorities constabulary serviceman astatine the lawsuit instantly arrested the man, who has not yet been publically named.

Salman Rushdie is loaded into a MedEvac chopper  aft  helium  was attacked portion    connected  signifier    astatine  an lawsuit   successful  Chautauqua, New York.
Salman Rushdie is loaded into a medevac chopper aft helium was attacked portion connected signifier astatine an lawsuit successful Chautauqua, New York. Photograph: @HoratioGates3/EPA

Later, six radical bore Rushdie by stretcher crossed a grassy tract to a waiting medevac helicopter, which flew him to a adjacent hospital. His information is unknown, though his agent, Andrew Wylie, has said Rushdie was successful surgery.

According to the festival’s itinerary, Rushdie was readying to sermon the US’s relation arsenic an “asylum for writers and different artists successful exile and arsenic a location for state of originative expression”.

He was accompanied connected the signifier by Henry Reese, the co-founder of a residency programme for writers surviving successful exile nether menace of persecution. Reese reportedly suffered a insignificant caput injury.

A subordinate of the Chautauqua unit asked the assemblage to calmly evacuate the 4,000-person auditorium. Shortly thereafter the festival canceled each events for the day.

In 1989, the past ultimate person of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared that Rushdie’s caller The Satanic Verses – which included speculative sequences astir the aboriginal beingness of the prophet Muhammad – was blasphemous, and called for Rushdie’s death. The publication was banned successful galore countries.

Rushdie, who was calved successful Mumbai and past worked successful Britain, was forced into hiding. He lived for a clip nether an assumed sanction and constabulary protection. Several assassination attempts were made against radical associated with the work of the book. In 1991, a antheral stabbed Rushdie’s Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, to decease successful Tokyo.

Rushdie moved to New York successful 2000.

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