By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
NEW YORK (Worthy News) – Salman Rushdie, the famed author who was hospitalized Friday after being stabbed by a suspected radical Islamist, is off a ventilator, and his condition has improved, his family says.
“We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen, and he was able to say a few words,” explained his son Zafar Rushdie.
“Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humor remains intact,” he noticed in a statement monitored by Worthy News.
However, “My father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment,” his son cautioned.
Rushdie, 75, was attacked onstage Friday at the Chautauqua Institution in New York State, where he was to be interviewed as part of a summer lecture series.
He was stabbed up to 10 times, including once in the neck, in front of a packed crowd at an event in New York. Yet, “We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leaped to his defense and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who have cared for him,” Zafar Rushdie said.
OUTPOURING OF LOVE
He stressed that the family also saw “the outpouring of love and support from around the world. We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family comes together at his bedside to support and help him through this time.”
The Satanic Verses novelist was airlifted to hospital and underwent surgery after he was knifed on stage. U.S. authorities charged Hadi Matar, the suspect in the stabbing, with “attempted murder.”
Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, was arraigned late Friday after he attacked Rushdie at the event in New York State, said prosecutors in Chautauqua County.
A review of Matar’s social media expressions suggested he is sympathetic to the causes of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Worthy News learned. The IRGC is a significant military and political force in Iran.
Indian-born novelist Rushdie shot to fame with Midnight’s Children in 1981, selling over one million copies in Britain alone.
But his fourth book, published in 1988 – The Satanic Verses – forced him into hiding for nearly 10 years amid death threats.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, issued a religious edict known as a fatwa on February 14, 1989. He ordered Muslims to kill Rushdie, which nearly happened last week.
Rushdie supporters have expressed concern that the attack will create fear among other authors criticizing Islam.