Salman Rushdie stabbed, Highlights: Author Salman Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and able to talk Saturday, a day after he was stabbed as he prepared to give a lecture in upstate New York. Rushdie remained hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer tweeted in the evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed that Rushdie was “on the road to recovery”.
On Saturday, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, accused of attacking Rushdie pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges in what a prosecutor called a “preplanned” crime. An attorney for Hadi Matar entered the plea on his behalf during an arraignment in western New York. The suspect appeared in court wearing a black and white jumpsuit and a white face mask, with his hands cuffed in front of him.
In an interview conducted just weeks before he was stabbed and seriously wounded , author Salman Rushdie said his life was now “relatively normal”, after having lived in hiding for years because of death threats. Rushdie talked in the interview with Germany’s Stern magazine about the threats he sees to US democracy. He also called himself an optimist, and noted that the fatwa, a religious edict issued in Iran in 1989 that called on Muslims around the world to kill him for blasphemy, was pronounced long ago. Born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, Rushdie moved to the UK. He has long faced death threats for his fourth novel, ‘The Satanic Verses,’ most prominently from Iran’s powerful cleric and leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who had pronounced a fatwa calling upon Muslims to kill the novelist.