Attack Does Not Stop Programming At Institution
CHAUTAUQUA — Friday’s attack on author Salman Rushdie continues to be felt at Chautauqua Institution, although officials are not letting the incident stop programming.
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin spoke at Chautauqua as part of the Week 10 “Profile in Courage” theme. He spoke at Norton Hall, an indoor facility. According to Jordan Steves, director of strategic communications at Chautauqua, that location was chosen prior to Friday’s incident.
There were no metal detectors, but bags were not permitted. Everyone entering also had to have an official gate pass. Numerous state police officers, sheriff’s deputies and Chautauqua security personnel were present before, during and after the lecture.
Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone said the lecture had extra security but that was previously planned. “That was arranged back on Aug. 2, or I should say was reaffirmed on Aug. 2. We (Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, FBI, Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua County executive) had previously met to discuss events and have police presence at various events throughout the season,” he said.
Emily Morris, senior vice president of marketing and communications, declined to say if there were any additional changes Monday as a result of the stabbing attack. “Part of the best practice of security is not talking publicly about your security process,” she said.
Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He served as the lead impeachment manager against former President Donald Trump, following the Jan. 6 insurrection. He also is a member of the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex.
Friday’s attack was not lost by the congressman.
“The bloody assault on Salman Rushdie Friday is not just an assault on one writer of exquisite imagination and moral power, it is not just an effort to silence one man and break one pen, it is an assault on everyone’s freedom to think, to write, to create, to argue and to grow. It is an attack on not just this community but on the worldwide project of Democratic community. It is an attack on the culture of secular reason and the progress of human freedom against every form of absolutism, of tyranny, and dogma,” he said, as he dedicated his lecture to Rushdie.
Rushdie was attacked by a 24-year-old New Jersey man before his planned morning lecture. The attack was met with shock and outrage from much of the world, along with tributes and praise for the award-winning author who for more than 30 years has faced death threats for “The Satanic Verses.”
“The Satanic Verses” drew death threats after it was published in 1988, with many Muslims regarding as blasphemy a dream sequence based on the life of the Prophet Muhammad, among other objections. Rushdie’s book had already been banned and burned in India, Pakistan and elsewhere before Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989.