Select Page

Assistant Professor of Journalism Dan Higgins has been on assignment for The New York Times, covering the legal case of the man accused of trying to kill the author Salman Rushdie in an August attack. 

Higgins is using his work with the Times in his Canisius classroom, showing his advanced journalism students his submitted drafts, as well as revisions and notes from his editors at The Times, in addition to the published articles. His editor at the Times is a scheduled guest speaker, to further talk to students about the reporting and editing processes at one of the largest newspaper/online news organizations in the United States.

Rushdie was on stage at The Chautauqua Institution on August 12, when a man stabbed the author a dozen times. Rushdie survived but his injuries were severe. Police arrested a 24-year-old man, Hadi Matar, from New Jersey and charged him with attempted murder.

Rushdie was the subject of a fatwa, or religious edict, in 1989 after the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses. The Supreme Leader of Iran at that time, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called for Rushdie’s death for the novel’s alleged blasphemy. Rushdie went into hiding for two decades and only recently began making public appearances.

His talk at Chautauqua was scheduled to be about how the United States has become a haven for exiled writers from around the world.

Matar has pleaded not guilty and remains in Chautauqua County Jail awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Submitted by: Dan Higgins, assistant professor of journalism, Department of Communications