Salman Rushdie
Salman RushdieREUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Author Salman Rushdie, who has faced a death threat from the Ayatollah of Iran since 1989, was stabbed on stage at a Friday event in New York.

Rushdie was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York State when the attack occurred, according to reports.

The assailant rushed the stage and began to punch and stab Rushdie as he was waiting to speak, an Associated Press reporter said.

Rushdie was either helped to the floor or fell after being assaulted. The attacker was restrained, Global News reported.

Rushdie had been under a fatwa calling for his death from Iran's late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini since shortly after the publication of his novel "The Satanic Verses" in 1988, which was considered blasphemous by Muslims.

A $3 million reward for killing Rushdie is still being offered by Iran.