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Author of The Satanic Verses survives attack


Salman Rushdie in 2018 Associated Press/Photo by Rogelio V. Solis, file

Author of <em>The Satanic Verses</em> survives attack

An attacker stabbed and punched Salman Rushdie 10-15 times on Friday as he was being introduced for a lecture in western New York. The man was quickly caught, and medics rushed Rushdie to the hospital. Over the weekend, his family said he has a long road to recovery, but “his usual feisty & defiant sense of humor remains intact.” Event moderator Henry Reese was also attacked and received a minor head injury, police said. Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, N.J., was arrested at the event. A prosecutor said the attack was targeted and planned.

Why would someone want to kill Rushdie? In the 1980s, Iran’s leader, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, put a $3 million bounty on Rushdie’s head for writing The Satanic Verses, a novel that offended some Muslims. Protests against Rushdie broke out all over the world, killing at least 45 people. Others, including translators of the book and a publisher, narrowly escaped attempts on their lives. Rushdie spent nine years in hiding, writing under a pseudonym. The Index on Censorship, an organization promoting free expression, said money was raised to boost the reward for Rushdie’s killing as recently as 2016.

Dig deeper: Read A.S. Ibrahim’s column in WORLD Opinions on what counts as an insult to Muhammad.


Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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