Salman Rushdie stabbing: Boris Johnson is ‘appalled’ and JK Rowling is ‘feeling very sick’ after horrific attack on stage in New York
- UK famous authors and politicians have reacted with horror to the stabbing
- JK Rowling, Nigella Lawson, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak tweeted reactions
- Sir Salman Rushie, 75, was stabbed up to 15 times on stage in New York today
- The Indian-born British author was given a death sentence by Iran in 1989
The Indian-born British author, 75, was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution when he was stabbed up to 15 times, including once in the neck.
He was airlifted to hospital but his agent has not yet given an update on his condition.
Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, led to Iran issuing him with a fatwa – a legal opinion calling for his death – 33 years ago.
British politicians, authors and notable faces rushed to express their thoughts and shocked reactions to the incident in upstate New York.
Famous British authors and politicians, including JK Rowling (pictured right at the Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore premiere this year) have expressed their shock after Sir Salman Rushdie (pictured left in 2019) was stabbed on stage in New York this morning
The author was intending to give a speech at the Chautauqua Institution before he was stabbed up to 15 times, including once in the neck, after an attacker approached him from behind. Pictured: Rushdie being tended to at the scene
Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted: ‘Horrifying news.
‘Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.’
TV chef and writer Nigella Lawson wrote: ‘This is horrific. Am distraught. Please, please let him be ok.’
Sathnam Sanghera, a journalist and author of Empireland, tweeted: ‘Passage from Midnight’s Children in my last ever exam.
‘Poster of The Moor’s Last Sigh had place on my (pretentious) student bedroom wall. Quote from Satanic Verses opens Empireland.
‘Lots of British Asian writers wouldn’t be writers without him. Pray he’s well.’
JK Rowling, Nigella Lawson and Sathnam Sanghera expressed their horror to Sir Salman Rushie being stabbed on stage in New York this morning on Twitter
Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988 as many Muslims view it as blasphemous.
In 1981 the author won the Booker Prize for his second novel Midnight’s Children.
Shocking images taken from the scene today showed a blood spatter on the stage and near the chair where he had been going to give the speech.
Rushdie, who has lived in the US since 2000, was about to give a speech about America being a haven for writers in exile.
He was attacked by a man who approached him from behind and rushed onto the stage before ‘punching and stabbing’ the author multiple times in front of horrified witnesses.
Rushdie was airlifted to hospital after receiving medical assistance from those at the event near Buffalo, in Upstate New York
British politicians, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and PM hopeful Rishi Sunak also expressed well-wishes for the author’s wellbeing.
Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend.
‘Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.’
Conservative leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak said on Twitter: ‘Shocked to hear of the attack on Salman Rushdie in New York.
‘A champion of free speech and artistic freedom. He’s in our thoughts tonight.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine it must not be tolerated.’
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: ‘Shocked to hear that @SalmanRushdie has been stabbed in New York.
‘Freedom of speech is fundamental to all strong democracies. Thoughts with him and his family.’
Shadow foreign secretary, Labour’s David Lammy, also wrote: ‘This is just horrific. Salman Rushdie is a lion of a man and a hugely talented author.
‘Praying he makes a full recovery and his cowardly attacker is brought to justice.’
UK politicians tweeted their reactions to the shock stabbing
Sir Rushdie has previously complained of having ‘too much security’ at other events.
After Iran’s Ayatollah Khmomeini issued him with the fatwa in February 1989 and called for his death, Rushdie was put on round-the-clock security until 2002 at the expense of the British taxpayer as a $3million bounty was put on his head.
New York State Police said in a statement: ‘On August 12, 2022, at about 11 am, a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.
‘Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital.
‘His condition is not yet known. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury.
‘A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.’
Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie spent years in hiding after being issued ‘spiritual’ death threat by Iran
Sir Salman Rushdie is a Booker Prize-winning author and novelist.
The 75-year-old was born in India, and his writing is often based around the themes of connections and migrations between Western and Eastern civilizations.
He won the Booker Prize in 1981 for his second novel, Midnight’s Children. His writing has spawned 30 book-length studies, and over 700 articles on his writing.
Rushdie’s writings have broadly been acclaimed to the genres of magical realism and historical fiction.
He has been living in the US since 2000, and he was named a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University in 2015.
He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, including for Midnight’s Children, in 1983 for Shame, in 1988 for The Satanic Versus, in 1995 for The Moor’s Last Sign, and in 2019 for Quichotte.