Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/@AllenVHarris/Twitter
Salman Rushdie was stabbed as he was about to give a lecture in New York today (12 August).
The man was reportedly seen punching or stabbing Rushdie just as he was being introduced.
The 75-year-old then collapsed to the floor and the man was restrained.
Rushdie reportedly suffered injuries to his neck and police said he was taken by helicopter to hospital.
His condition is unclear.
Rabbi Charles Savenor was in the audience and said the attack lasted for about 20 seconds.
He said: "This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, 'What’s going on?' And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten."
Rushdie's book 'The Satanic Verses' has been banned in Iran since 1988, with many Muslims claiming it to be blasphemous.
In 1989, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death.
A $3 million bounty was offered for the writer's murder, though Iran's government has long since tried to distance itself from the issue.
A decade ago, the bounty was actually raised by a semi-official Iranian religious foundation to $3.3m.
At the time, Rushdie said he couldn't see any evidence that anyone was actually attempting to claim the reward.
Since news of the attack was reported, people have taken to social media to share messages of support for the renowned writer.
"Horrifying. Praying for his survival," wrote one.
Another commented: "All thoughts and good wishes with novelist, humanist, and human rights advocate @SalmanRushdie. Violent attacks on artists and thinkers strike at the heart of an open and democratic society. Keep thinking freely, keep speaking out!"
"This is sickening. Urgently hoping Salman Rushdie is not badly hurt," put a third.
While another added: "I hope Salman Rushdie is ok: I love his work (and reading Midnight’s Children in the early 80s - wow! look what you can do with words and stories!) was one reason I studied literature."
The Chautauqua Institution is known for its summer lecture series, with Rushdie having previously spoken there.
According to the event's website, he was there to give a lecture alongside Henry Reese.
Reese is the co-founder and president of City of Asylum in Pittsburgh, which was founded almost 20 years ago to offer sanctuary to writers exiled under threat of persecution.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]