Sir Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked on Friday as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Sir Salman as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.

Sir Salman’s book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as some Muslims consider it to be blasphemous over a reference to the prophet Mohammad. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Sir Salman’s death.

A recent memoir revealed that the award-winning author went into hiding in a remote farm in Powys after receiving death threats.

One of Rushdie's safe houses is believed to be a cottage in the Knighton area that was owned by his former agent Deborah Rogers.

His memoir also revealed that he used a bed and breakfast establishment run by a former police office during more than a decade in hiding.