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Salman Rushdie is off ventilator, but suffering ‘life changing’ injuries

Author Saman Rushdie who was stabbed on stage in New York State last Friday, is off ventilator but suffering “life changing” injuries.

Update:
Author Saman Rushdie who was stabbed on stage in New York State last Friday, is off ventilator but suffering “life changing” injuries.
Anadolu AgencyGetty

The British-Indian renowned author, Salman Rushdie, was attacked and stabbed on stage at a literary festival at New York State’s Chautauqua Institution on Friday. The 75-year-old was removed from a ventilator Saturday and continues to receive extensive ongoing medical treatment.

In a family statement Sunday, Rushdie’s son, Zafar Rushdie said his family is “extremely relieved” his father was able to “say a few words,” even as he remains in critical condition.

Related: Salman Rushdie: What is the controversy surrounding Satanic Verses and what are some of his other major works?

Rushdie “on the road to recovery”

“Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humor remains intact,” said Zafar Rushdie.

New York State Police identified the 24-year-old suspect in Rushdie’s stabbing, named Hadi Matar, who rushed the lecture stage and attacked the author “at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen.”

Matar was taken into custody after the attack, according to the Associated Press.

Why was Salman Rushdie stabbed?

Although Rushdie has received much praise for his work, including a Booker Prize for his 1981 novel Midnight’s Children, the writer born in India became controversial in the public eye for decades after his 1989 book The Satanic Verses was published.

The novel that featured a fictional interpretation of the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran, was deemed as blasphemy by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini, who died later in 1989, issued a fatwā (a ruling on Islamic law) for Rushdie’s assassination.

Related: What is a fatwa and why did Salman Rushdie get one?

The British-Indian went into hiding for nearly a decade until the Iranian government indicated it would neither “support nor hinder” threats against Rushdie’s life.

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