Salman Rushdie, threatened with death by extremist Ayatollah Khomeini followers since the 1980s, was attacked on Friday (12), minutes before giving a lecture in Chautauqua, New York. Some witnesses told officers they saw a man running across the stage and punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced by the master of ceremonies. Not everything is still clear and, for now, the victim’s condition is not known.
An Associated Press reporter witnessed the moment a man stormed the Chautauqua Institution stage and began assaulting Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author fell to the ground at the same instant and the man was controlled.
Rushdie became a public enemy of Iran in 1988 when his Satanic Verses was banned. It was the Khomenei regime and his words were considered blasphemous. A year later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death. Iran has also offered more than $3 million in reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.
Tehran assured in 1998 that the fatwa would not be applied. But Khomeini’s successor declared in 2005 that Rushdie was an apostate and that he could be killed with impunity. And the government of conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared in 2007 that the fatwa was still valid.