The person set to interview Salman Rushdie in New York state moments earlier than the famend novelist was attacked mentioned Sunday he initially thought somebody was taking part in a merciless joke, however was jolted to actuality when he noticed blood.
Henry Reese, president of non-profit group Metropolis of Asylum, was additionally injured when an attacker invaded a literary occasion stage Friday and stabbed Rushdie within the neck and stomach; he mentioned it took a number of moments to understand what was happening.
“It was very obscure. It regarded like a form of unhealthy prank and it did not have any sense of actuality,” Reese, 73, instructed CNN.
“Then when there was blood behind him, it grew to become actual.”
Reese, who appeared on the community Sunday with a big bandage over his bruised and swollen proper eye, declined to debate specifics concerning the assault.
However he mentioned that when a person raced onstage he thought the incident was a “unhealthy reference” to the non secular decree that Iran’s leaders had issued calling for Muslims to kill Rushdie, and “not that it was an actual assault.”
The suspected assailant, Hadi Matar, 24, was wrestled to the bottom by employees and different viewers members earlier than being taken into police custody.
Rushdie spent years underneath police safety after Iranian leaders referred to as for his killing over his portrayal of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in his novel “The Satanic Verses.”
Reese mentioned he was as a result of talk about with Rushdie the Metropolis of Asylum motion, which seeks to guard freedom of expression and which Reese mentioned he launched after listening to an inspirational Rushdie tackle in 1997.
“That’s the grim form of irony — or possibly intention — to not solely assault his physique, however to assault the whole lot that he represented,” Reese mentioned.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)