It is bitterly ironic that Salman Rushdie was about to speak out on the need to protect persecuted writers when he was brutally attacked in western New York on Friday. The symbolic nature of the tragic event is made even clearer by the exact location of the attack: the Chautauqua Institution.
Founded in 1874 as an educational experiment, Chautauqua is a not-for-profit organization and summer resort. It has a rich and unique history of hosting open debates and advocating diversity of thought, religious pluralism and freedom of expression. Chautauqua has hosted countless speakers, from artists to scientists, policymakers and authors. Theodore Roosevelt, visiting in 1905, called it “the most American thing in America”. His distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt made it the stage for his 1936 I Hate War speech, and many others followed.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/salman-rushdie-chautauqua-fatwa-jihad-iran-hadi-matar-knife-attack-11660341192 The Tragic Site of Salman Rushdie’s Stabbing