Author Salman Rushdie was attacked Friday just before a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, multiple outlets have reported.
An eye-witness account from a reporter with The Associated Press details a man storming the stage before “punching or stabbing” the author — whose controversial writing has notably led to death threats in the past — as he was being introduced. Rushdie, 75, was then “pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained,” AP writes.
Per a press release from New York State Police, Rushdie “suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital.” His condition is currently unknown, but the suspect is in custody. The interviewer at the event also “suffered a minor head injury,” per the release.
One of Rushdie’s most famous novels, The Satanic Verses, has been banned in Iran for years, “as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous,” AP writes. In 1989, then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an edict calling for Rushdie’s death. A $3 million reward has also been offered for anyone who kills him.