Salman Rushdie, the India-born novelist whose book, The Satanic Verses, drew death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked on Friday morning on stage right before he was about to speak at a literary festival in Chautauqua, in New York state.
Rushdie was airlifted to a hospital and details about his condition are still unknown.
Here are reactions to the attack.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul:
“Our thoughts are with Salman & his loved ones following this horrific event.”
United States New York Senator Chuck Schumer
“This attack is shocking and appalling. It is an attack on freedom of speech and thought, which are two bedrock values of our country and of the Chautauqua Institution.”
Committee to Protect Journalists President Jodie Ginsberg
“Shocking news. Salman Rushdie has always been a staunch defender of the rights of everyone to speak freely. My thoughts are with his loved ones.”
Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad
“You can kill us but you cannot kill the idea of writing & fighting for our dignity. I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie. After surviving a kidnapping and an assassination plot in New York, I won’t feel safe on US soil until the US take strong action against terror.”
You can kill us but you cannot kill the idea of writing & fighting for our dignity.
I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie.
After surviving a kidnapping and an assassination plot in New York, I won’t feel safe on US soil until the US take strong action against terror. pic.twitter.com/AGEwlxWFxQ
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 12, 2022
British author JK Rowling
“Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”
American author Stephen King
“I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”
I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 12, 2022
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson
“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.”
United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel
“Shocked and appalled to hear of the unprovoked and senseless attack on Sir Salman Rushdie. Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine it must not be tolerated. My thoughts are with Sir Salman and his family.”
Horrifying news. https://t.co/i5poClOImW
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 12, 2022
Free Expression Organization Pen America CEO Suzanne Nossel
“We can think of no comparable incident of a public attack on a literary writer on American soil … Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered. He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced. While we do not know the origins or motives of this attack, all those around the world who have met words with violence or called for the same are culpable for legitimizing this assault on a writer while he was engaged in his essential work of connecting to readers.”
Norwegian Publisher William Nygaard, who was shot and wounded in 1993 after publishing Rushdie’s work
“Rushdie has paid a high price. He is a leading author who has meant so much to literature, and he had found a good life in the United States.”
United Kingdom Culture Minister Nadine Dorries:
“Horrifying. An awful attack on a literary giant and one of the great defenders of freedom of expression. Thoughts with @SalmanRushdie and his loved ones.”