Writer Salman Rushdie attacked on stage at New York event

Chautauqua, N.Y. — Salman Rushdie, a writer whose work led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked Friday while speaking in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at Chautauqua College and begin beating or stabbing Rushdie as he was introduced. The author was taken away or fell to the ground and the man was restrained.

Rushdie’s situation is unclear.

Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988 because many Muslims consider it blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a decree calling for Rushdie’s execution.

There was also a bounty of more than $3 million for anyone who killed Rushdie.

The Iranian government has long since moved away from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingers. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised Rushdie’s bounty from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

Rushdie denied the threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” that people were interested in rewards.

That year, Rushdie published a memoir about Fatwa, Joseph Anton.

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