Agent: Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator and "the path to recovery has begun."

His agent, Andrew Wylie, told Reuters in an email that "the road to recovery has started" because he was taken off the ventilator. "It will take a while; the injuries are significant, but his condition is improving."

Salman Rushdie, the renowned author who was hospitalized on Friday with critical wounds after being stabbed multiple times at a public event in New York state, is no longer on a ventilator, and his health is improving, according to his agent and son.


His agent, Andrew Wylie, told Reuters in an email that "the road to recovery has started" because he was taken off the ventilator. "It will take a while; the injuries are significant, but his condition is improving."


Rushdie, 75, was about to give a speech on artistic freedom at Chautauqua Institution in western New York when, according to police, a 24-year-old man rushed the podium and stabbed the Indian-born author. Rushdie has had a bounty placed on his head ever since Iran urged Muslims to kill him for his 1988 book "The Satanic Verses," which led to the author living under house arrest.


At a court appearance on Saturday, the suspect, Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, entered a not-guilty plea to the counts of attempted murder and assault, according to Nathaniel Barone, his court-appointed attorney.


Rushdie will probably lose one eye, Wylie said in a previous update on the novelist's condition, adding that as of Friday evening, Rushdie had been placed on a ventilator and was unable to talk.


Rushdie's son reported that although his father was still in serious condition, he was able to speak a few words once he was taken off the ventilator.


Zafar Rushdie tweeted, "Though his life-altering injuries are severe, his customary feisty & defiant sense of humor is intact.


Politicians and writers from all over the world denounced the stabbing as an attack on the right to free speech. President Joe Biden praised Rushdie and his work for emulating the "universal qualities" of truth, bravery, and resiliency in a statement on Saturday.


Any free and open society must have these, according to Biden.


No other information about the inquiry, including a potential motivation, has been provided by either local or federal officials.


Although no concrete connections had been discovered, an early law enforcement investigation of Matar's social media accounts revealed he was sympathetic to Shi'ite radicalism and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to NBC New York.


A significant group known as the IRGC is in charge of a vast corporate empire as well as elite armed and intelligence capabilities, and Washington accuses them of waging a campaign of worldwide terrorism.


Although hardline state media sites hailed the attack with titles like "Satan has been blinded," Iranian authorities have not publicly commented on the incident, and several Iranians have expressed support for the stabbing online.


However, a lot of other Iranians showed support for Rushdie by commenting on social media about their rage at the clerical leaders of the Islamic Republic for issuing the 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to murder the author.


BOUNTY WORTH MILLIONS


Before migrating to Britain, Rushdie was born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, now Mumbai. He has received death threats for his book "The Satanic Verses," which some Muslims believe contains blasphemous parts. In a lot of nations with sizable Muslim populations, the book was outlawed.


Millions of dollars have been raised in a bounty for Rushdie's murder by Iranian organizations, some of which are connected to the government. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then-supreme Iran's leader, issued the fatwa 33 years ago. Even as recently as 2019, his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared that the decision was "irrevocable."


According to the NBC New York story, Matar was born in California and recently relocated to New Jersey. He also had a false driver's license on him.


Witnesses claimed he was silent while criticizing the author. After being wrestled to the ground by spectators, he was taken into custody on the spot by a state trooper.


According to the New York Times, during Matar's arraignment, the prosecution claimed that Rushdie had been stabbed ten times.


According to the Times, the prosecution claimed in court that Matar took a bus to the Chautauqua Institution, a resort for learning located about 12 miles (19 km) from the shores of Lake Erie, where he purchased a permit that allowed him entry to Rushdie's speech. Participants reported that there were no overt security checks.


Ali The, the mayor of the town, said that Matar was the descendant of a man from Yaroun in southern Lebanon. The mayor told Reuters that Matar's parents immigrated to the United States, where he was born and reared, and that he was unaware of their political leanings.


In Yaroun, where pictures of Khomeini and the deceased IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by an American drone attack in 2020, were hung on walls over the weekend, the Iran-backed armed force Hezbollah wields considerable influence.


Hezbollah had no new information on Rushdie's attack, a group representative told Reuters on Saturday.


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