Novelist Salman Rushdie was recently attacked at an event in New York. A young man came to the stage and stabbed him. But Rushdie’s interview show host said he thought the incident was a prank at first. But seeing the blood, he was sure it was not a prank, it was real. News from AFP.

Henry Rees, president of the non-profit group City of Asylum, told CNN that when an assailant stabbed Rushdie in the neck and abdomen on stage at a literary event on Friday, it took several moments to realize what had happened. It was very difficult to understand. It seemed like a prank. The incident didn’t seem real at first but it became real when blood appeared on his back.

Reese appeared Sunday with a large bandage over his bruised and swollen right eye. He declined to discuss specifics about the attack.

But he said when a man ran on stage he thought the incident was an ill-ordered religious decree, which resulted from Iran’s leaders calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie. It wasn’t a real attack.

Staff and other onlookers scrambled to grab suspected attacker Hadi Matar (24) before he was taken into police custody.

Rees said he would discuss with Rushdie the City of Asylum movement, which seeks to protect freedom of expression. He started the movement in 1997 after listening to Rushdie’s inspirational speech.

(August 15)