Re: “Author Salman Rushdie stabbed on lecture stage in New York” [Aug. 12, Nation]:
I am offended, saddened and upset at the news from the Chautauqua Institution Institution that author Salman Rushdie was brutally attacked Friday morning as he started a lecture.
I hope that anyone who believes in free speech is offended as well.
Chautauqua is a place of music, peace, love, art, friendship, solace, beauty, appreciation and most importantly learning. It is a patch of land where the freedom to exchange ideas is paramount.
I have walked its grounds, interacting with people from all over the world, listening to lectures and enjoying outstanding music from the very stage in the beautiful amphitheater where Rushdie was attacked.
It is such an incredible and spiritual place that I once saw Engelbert Humperdinck sing a Bruce Springsteen song on that stage!
As I write this I don’t know Rushdie’s condition. I pray he recovers. I also pray for you and me.
It is our right to feel safe when we exchange ideas.
Chautauqua is a refuge from a crazy world, a place of civility among rolling hills.
That civility was broken, that peace violated, that exchange of ideas stopped for the moment and because I love that land and what it represents so much … so was my heart.
Vinnie Richichi, Seattle
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