CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked Friday as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

FILE – Author Salman Rushdie appears at a signing for his book “Home” in London on June 6, 2017. Rushdie has been attacked while giving a lecture in western New York. An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage Friday at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP, File)

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

New York police say Salman Rushdie suffered a stab wound to his neck and has been airlifted to hospital.

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.

Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death.

Iran has also offered over $3 million in reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.

Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward.

That year, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa.