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Salman Rushdie suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries – but ‘feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact’, says son

Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the back and sustained “life-changing” injuries. However, he is now able to speak a few words and has his “usual feisty sense of humor,” his son said.

After Friday’s attack at Chautauqua, New York, the 75-year-old author was airlifted from his home to undergo hours of surgery.

His son Zafar Rushdie stated that Sir Salam was still in “critical condition”, but was removed from a ventilator Saturday.

He said that although his life-changing injuries were severe, his feisty sense of humor and wit remained intact.”

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According to the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, Sir Salman was stabbed 12 times. This included in his neck.

Sir Salman was punctured by one of the facial wounds. Another wound, in the abdomen, resulted in a puncture to the liver of the author.

Stabbing wounds were also found in the abdomen and chest.

Full statement by Zafar Rushdie

My father is still in critical condition after Friday’s attack and continues to receive extensive medical treatment.

We are relieved to report that he was removed from the ventilator yesterday and given additional oxygen. He was even able speak a few words.

Although his life-threatening injuries have left him permanently disabled, his feisty sense of humor and defiant spirit remain intact.

We are grateful for all of the support and love from the people around the globe, as well as the bravery shown by the members of the audience who rushed to his defense and provided first aid.

As his family gathers at his bedside, we ask for patience and privacy to help him through this difficult time.

Andrew Wylie, his literary agent, gave an update on Salman’s condition on Sunday. He said that Sir Salman was now off the ventilator and that “the road to recovery” has started.

“It will take a while; his injuries are serious, but his condition appears to be improving.”

On Saturday, the suspect pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Hadi Mattar was 24, and appeared in court in a black and white jumpsuit with a white mask. His hands were cuffed in front.

Continue reading:

The reaction of the world to Sir Salman Rushdie’s stabbing

What can we learn about the suspect?

Why is Salman Rushdie so controversial?

Image: Hadi Matar, 24, arriving in court. Pic: AP


The attack

Sir Salman, who lives and works in New York City, became an American citizen in 2016. He was scheduled to speak to Henry Reese from the City of Asylum organization, which is a residency program for writers in exile facing persecution.

They were to discuss America’s role in exile as an asylum for writers, artists and freedom of expression.

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Witnesses rush for help after attack

When he was being introduced to the Chautauqua Institute, a man stormed onto the stage and started stabbing him.

As the audience and staff pinned him down, he fell to the ground.


The Satanic Verses

After being deemed to contain blasphemous passages, Sir Salman’s book The Satanic Verses, was banned in many countries with large Muslim populations in 1988.

Image: 1989 protests in Tehran over Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses. Pic: AP

1989 saw Iran’s leader AyatollahRuhollah Khomeini issue a fatwa (or edict) calling for the death of Sir Salman.

Although he was in exile for many years, he told a German magazine that he felt his life had returned to “relatively normal”.

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