Salman Rushdie survives multiple assassination attempts

Published May 21st, 2023 - 06:51 GMT
Salman Rushdie
Honoree Salman Rushdie speaks on stage at the 2023 PEN America Literary Gala at American Museum of Natural History on May 18, 2023 in New York City. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for PEN America/AFP

ALBAWABA - Controversial writer Salman Rushdie made his first public appearance since the New York attack last August. However, the August attack was not the first attempt to kill  Rushdie.

Rushdie appeared for the first time since he lost one of his eyes, at PEN America’s annual gala on Thursday night.

The writer of the controversial book, The Satanic Verses, said: "The attack on books, the attack on teaching, the attack on libraries, in – how can I put this – Florida, has never been more dangerous, never been more important to fight."

Salman Rushdie thanked the literary and free speech advocacy group for pressuring politicians and local officials who attempt to ban literature concerning race and gender identity.

Following the release of "The Satanic Verses," Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran, issued a fatwa calling for the death of the famous British and American novelist. 

The fatwa by the Iranian leader triggered anger and hate against the writer causing multiple assassinations against Rushdie.

First assassination attack in 1989

A previously unknown Lebanese group, the Organization of the Mujahidin of Islam, prepared an attack on Rushdie in London. However, the bomb exploded prematurely causing massive destruction in the hotel.

Possible assassination at Jaipur Literature Festival in 2012

Salman Rushdie was due to appear at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2012 in India, but he canceled his plan last minute due to a possible assassination threat.

Days later, the novelist accused the Indian government of lying about possible assassination threats in order to keep him away as they were afraid he might read from his controversial novel "The Satanic Verses."

Chautauqua assassination attack in 2022

Rushdie was attacked on Aug. 12, 2022 moments before starting his lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York when a man crashed the stage and stabbed the writer repeatedly before being arrested.

Two months later, Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie reported that the novelist had lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand but survived the assassination attempt.

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