Salman Rushdie is dead or still alive? attacked on lecture stage in New York

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Salman Rushdie is dead or still alive? attacked on lecture stage in New York

Salman Rushdie, a writer whose work led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked Friday as he prepared to speak in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter saw a man storm the Chautauqua College stage and start punching, kicking or stabbing Rushdie as he introduced him. The 75-year-old author was pushed or fell to the ground and the man was held in custody. Rushdie was soon surrounded by a small group, holding his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest. His condition was not immediately known.

Hundreds of spectators gasped after seeing the attack and were evacuated. Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988 because many Muslims consider it blasphemous. A year later, the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a decree calling for Rushdie’s execution.

Anyone who kills Rushdie has a bounty in excess of $3 million.

The Iranian government has long since moved away from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdi sentiment persists. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation increased Rushdie’s bounty from $2.8 million to $3.3 million. Rushdie denied the threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” people were interested in the reward.

That year, Rushdie published his memoir of Fatwa, Joseph Anton. The title comes from the pseudonym Rushdie used when hiding.

Rushdie is best known for his 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel The Midnight Child, but his name became known worldwide after The Satanic Verses.

Chautauqua College, located about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo, a New York suburb, is known for its summer lecture series. Rushdie has spoken there before.

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