After being stabbed on stage in New York, which has been described as a “preplanned” attack, renowned author Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and is able to speak again.

On Friday, a man rushed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York and stabbed Rushdie 15 times. 

Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie said the author may lose an eye as a result of the attack.

“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wylie said.

New York State Police detained a suspect named Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.

On Saturday, Matar was charged with attempted murder. He is being held without bail.

District Attorney Jason Schmidt says Matar “preplanned” the attack by taking steps to put himself in a position to harm Rushdie, getting an advance pass to the event and arriving a day early with a fake ID.

“This was a targeted, unprovoked, preplanned attack on Mr. Rushdie,” Schmidt told the court.

According to BBC, Matar was born in the US to parents who had immigrated from Lebanon. His social media accounts have suggested that he is sympathetic to the causes of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. 

Rushdie was forced into hiding for nearly 10 years after his book The Satanic Verses was published in 1988. The book’s title referred to verses of the Quran, which Rushdie claimed had been removed. 

In The Satanic Verses, he also made references to Islam that Islamists and hard-liners deemed offensive.

Following the book’s release, Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for Rushdie’s execution and offered a $3 million reward in a fatwa – a legal decree issued by an Islamic religious leader.

In 2005, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei restated the fatwa against Rushdie and claimed that the death sentence was still valid.


  • Harrison Faulkner

    Harrison Faulkner is the host of Ratio'd and co-host of Fake News Friday. He is also a journalist and producer for True North based in Toronto. Twitter: @Harry__Faulkner