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Salman Rushdie on ‘the road to recovery’ after stabbing

New York Daily News 8/14/2022 KATE FELDMAN

Salman Rushdie is still healing just two days after being stabbed on stage during an event in western New York.

“The road to recovery has begun,” his agent, Andrew Wylie, told the Daily News Sunday. “It will be long; the injuries are severe, but his condition is headed in the right direction.”

Rushdie, the 75-year-old author known best for his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses,” was about to be interviewed at the Chautauqua Institution Friday when a man rushed the stage and stabbed him several times.

He suffered damage to his liver and nerves in an arm and is expected to lose an eye, Wylie previously said. The author was treated at the scene by a doctor in the audience, then taken by helicopter to a hospital in Erie, Pa., where he underwent surgery.

Rushdie was taken off the ventilator Saturday and can now talk.

Salman Rushdie © Provided by New York Daily News Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie (Grant Pollard/)

Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old Fairview, N.J., man, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges Saturday and is being held without bail.

Video: Novelist Salman Rushdie stabbed at NY lecture (Reuters)

District Attorney Jason Schmidt told the judge Saturday that Matar had arranged an advance pass to get into the audience and used a fake ID.

“This was a targeted, unprovoked, preplanned attack on Mr. Rushdie,” Schmidt said.

After the publication of “The Satanic Verses,” inspired by the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Rushdie spent years in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his execution over the allegedly blasphemous portrayal of Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

A $3 million bounty remains on the books for Rushdie, which Schmidt also cited as a need to hold Matar without bail.

“Even if this court were to set a million dollars bail, we stand a risk that bail could be met,” Schmidt said Saturday.

“His resources don’t matter to me. We understand that the agenda that was carried out yesterday is something that was adopted and it’s sanctioned by larger groups and organizations well beyond the jurisdictional borders of Chautauqua County,” the prosecutor said.

Matar’s public defender, Nathaniel Barone, has not yet offered an explanation for his client.

Activists and world leaders have shared concern and grief over the stabbing since Friday.

“Salman Rushdie — with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced — stands for essential, universal ideals,” President Biden said in a statement Saturday. “Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear. These are the building blocks of any free and open society.”

With News Wire Services

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