Salman Rushdie attacked onstage in New York

Author Salman Rushdie was attacked onstage at an event in New York.

He had been set to give a lecture in western New York.

According to a reporter who was at the event, a man stormed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and began punching or stabbing Mr Rushdie as he was being introduced.

The renowned author fell to the floor while the attacker was detained by police.

New York State Police said Mr Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck.

In a statement, he was flown by helicopter to a local hospital.

The statement read: “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.”

Mr Rushdie received treatment and was later able to walk off the stage.

Mr Rushdie has faced death threats for most of his adult life following the publication of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, which some have called blasphemous.

The novel is centred around two Indian Muslim protagonists living in England. It satirised religion and the concepts of good and evil.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then-Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Mr Rushdie’s death.

A bounty of more than $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Mr Rushdie.

Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment remained.

In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Mr Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

At the time, Salman Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward.

That year, Mr Rushdie published a memoir about the fatwa.

Responding to news that his book had been banned in India, Salman Rushdie said “the book isn’t actually about Islam, but about migration, metamorphosis, divided selves, love, death, London and Bombay”.

Nevertheless, Mr Rushdie was forced to be accompanied by personal protection for many years.

Christopher Hitchens, the late author and a close friend of Mr Rushdie’s, said of one visit to his home:

“When he was staying at my house back at Thanksgiving of 1993, so were about a dozen heavily armed members of the United States’s finest anti-terrorist forces.”