Salman Rushdie Attack Updates: Writer Off Ventilator, Talking & Joking; Stabber Pleads Not Guilty as Joe Biden Condemns Incident

Salman Rushdie Attack Updates: “The Satanic Verses” 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 information without offering further details.

Latest updates on the story:

• The 24-year old New Jersey man charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking author Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty. Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail.

• The attacker has been charged with attempted murder and assault and remanded without bail to the Chautauqua County Jail, police said on Saturday. The New York State Police Jamestown, which is investigating the attack on prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, said that on Friday the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey for attempted murder 2nd degree and assault 2nd degree. Matar was processed at State Police Jamestown and transported to Chautauqua County Jail. He was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and “remanded without bail to the Chautauqua County Jail”, the New York State Police said in a statement.

• Meanwhile, Chautauqua County Executive Paul Wendel in a statement said on behalf of all Chautauqua County residents, he extends his thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Rushdie. The small tranquil community of the Chautauqua Institution has been shaken to its core by an act of violence, which has reverberated across Chautauqua County and Western New York. It is disappointing that we live in a society where we cannot listen to the differences of others, especially in a place like the Institution where thinkers and problem solvers from around the world come to share their stories, he said.

• US President Joe Biden condemned the “vicious attack” on Salman Rushdie, as the author remained hospitalized Saturday after being stabbed in New York. In a statement praising Rushdie for his “refusal to be intimidated or silenced,” Biden said that he and his wife, Jill, “together with all Americans and people around the world, are praying for his health and recovery.”

• The stunning knife attack on author Salman Rushdie has fanned interest in his works — above all, “The Satanic Verses,” which left him living for years under a looming death threat. Different editions of the 1988 book — seen as blasphemous by Iranian leaders who subsequently issued a religious decree calling for his death — on Saturday occupied the top three spots on Amazon’s “Movers & Shakers” list. That list, which shows books whose sales have increased the most, had another Rushdie opus, “Midnight’s Children,” teetering between fourth and fifth place. Bookstores reported a flurry of interest in the Indian-born author, some from readers too young to remember the original fury he prompted across much of the Muslim world.

With inputs from agencies

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