The author Salman Rushdie was supposed to discuss the U.S. as a refuge for exiled writers. As he was about to begin Friday at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, a man rushed the stage and stabbed Mr. Rushdie in the neck. A 24-year-old, Hadi Matar, is in custody. His motive wasn’t clear.
But Mr. Rushdie has spent decades facing precisely this kind of threat. In 1989 the ayatollah of Iran issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Mr. Rushdie for allegedly insulting Islam with his novel “The Satanic Verses.” Mr. Rushdie went into hiding for years but had lived more openly in New York in recent years. Perhaps he was beginning to hope that it all had faded into history.