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President Biden said on Saturday he was “shocked and saddened” after the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie
Rushdie was stabbed multiple times before a speech at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday. The assailant allegedly rushed to the scene and stabbed him in the neck. Rushdie undergoes surgery at a local hospital.
“Jill and I were shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious attack on Salman Rushdie yesterday in New York. We, along with all Americans and people around the world, pray for his health and recovery. I am grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who sprang into action to come to Rushdie’s aid and subdue the attacker,” Biden said in a statement.
“Salman Rushdie – with his insight into humanity, with his unparalleled sense of history, with his refusal to be bullied or silenced – represents essential and universal ideals. Truth. Courage. Resilience. ability to share ideas without fear. These are the cornerstones of any free and open society. And today, we reaffirm our commitment to these deeply American values in solidarity with Rushdie and all those who defend freedom of expression.” , he added.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan condemned the attack in a statement Friday.
“Today the country and the world witnessed a reprehensible attack on writer Salman Rushdie,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement. “This act of violence is appalling. All of us in the Biden-Harris administration pray for his speedy recovery.”
NY POLICE IDENTIFY MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY STAB SALMAN RUSHDIE
“We are grateful to the good citizens and first responders for helping Mr. Rushdie so quickly after the attack and to law enforcement for their quick and efficient work, which continues,” he continued.
A state trooper assigned to the event at the Chautauqua Institution took the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, into custody immediately following the attack, New State Police said. York. The event moderator also suffered a minor head injury.
Andrew Wylie, an agent for Rushdie, told The New York Times that the writer was on a ventilator and unable to speak.
SALMAN RUSHDIE’S DAGGER COMES 33 YEARS AFTER FATWA ISSUED ON HIS LIFE BY IRAN
“The news is not good,” Wylie said. “Salman is likely to lose an eye; the nerves in his arm have been severed; and his liver has been stabbed and damaged.”
Rushdie lived under threat of a fatwa on his life after Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned his book, “The Satanic Verses,” as blasphemy in 1989 and called for the author’s death. The book was also banned in Iran. A fatwa is a decree from an Islamic religious leader.
Iran has offered over $3 million to anyone who kills Rushdie.
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The Iranian government has since backed away from Khomeini’s decree, but Rushdie has always faced opposition. A semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised a bounty for Rushdie in 2012 of $2.8 million to $3.3 million.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.