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Shocker: Muslims Outraged At Woman Writer

From those defenders of the faith at BBC NEWS:

Bangladeshi writer moved to Delhi

Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasreen has been moved out of the western Indian city of Jaipur to a location in Delhi.

Ms Nasreen had flown from Calcutta to Jaipur on Thursday after violent protests by Muslims.

But she has now been transported to the Indian capital, Delhi, for her safety.

On Wednesday, police in Calcutta used tear gas and baton charges to control crowds calling for her Indian visa to be cancelled.

Rioters blocked roads and set cars alight. At least 43 people were hurt. More than 100 arrests were made.

Critics say she called for the Koran to be changed to give women greater rights, something she denies. 


Ms Nasreen fled Bangladesh in the early 1990s after death threats and has spent the last three years in Calcutta after a long stay in Europe.

Indian intelligence officials say Ms Nasreen was flown out of Calcutta in a special plane to Delhi from where she was taken to Jaipur in the western state of Rajasthan.

She spent Thursday night at a hotel in Jaipur under heavy security, the police said.

Early on Friday, Ms Nasreen moved out of the hotel and sped away with a police convoy towards the main road linking Jaipur with Delhi, the BBC’s Narayan Bareth in Jaipur says.

Taslima Nasreen’s Indian visa is valid until March 2008.

Wednesday’s trouble in Calcutta began after the predominantly Muslim All-India Minority Forum called for blockades on major roads in the city.

The group said Ms Nasreen had “seriously hurt Muslim sentiments”. Many Muslims say her writing ridicules Islam.

The army was called out and a night curfew imposed.

The All-India Minority Forum says Taslima Nasreen’s Indian visa should be revoked and she should be forced to leave the country.

In August this year, she was attacked in the southern city of Hyderabad during a lecture by Muslims upset by her remarks on the Prophet Muhammed and the Koran.

Wikipedia offers some background on Ms. Nasreen’s adventures with Islam:

Taslima Nasrin

Doctor Taslima Nasrin… is a Bengali Bangladeshi author, feminist human rights activist and secular humanist. Nasrin has achieved global fame, but has also faced death threats afrom Islamic fundamentalists, forcing her exile to India…

Criticisms, censorship and attacks

In 1993, outraged by a series of newspaper columns in which she was critical of the treatment of women under Islam, Islamic fundamentalists issued a fatwa and offered a bounty for her death.

Later, the government banned her novella Lajja, (a Bangla word meaning shame), which drew attention to the state-sponsored persecution and dwindling numbers of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh. This brought more calls for her death, and her passport was confiscated by the government.

In 1994, organized groups (albeit of little social clout, and identified with Islamic fundamentalists) demanded her execution after she was quoted in The Statesman stating that “…the Koran should be revised thoroughly.” While the then Awami League government did not take any action against those who had issued threats, a case was filed in the court of law against Taslima, charging her with blasphemy. Consequently, an arrest warrant was issued and Taslima went into hiding to avoid arrest. After two months she surrendered to a higher court, sought bail, left the country and went into exile after bail was granted, seemingly with tacit support of the then-government.

In the same year, Nasrin received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament, and other awards. Taslima is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. Her books have so far been translated into twenty different languages.

Taslima’s first four autobiographical volumes have been banned in Bangladesh. The government has claimed that they “contain anti-Islamic sentiments and statements that could destroy the religious harmony of Bangladesh.” However, the fifth volume, published in 2006, has not been banned as yet.

In November 2003, the West Bengal government in India banned the sale, distribution and collection of Taslima’s Dwikhandito, the 3rd part of her autobiography. The ban was lifted by the High Court in September 2004.

In 2004, Syed Noorur Rehaman Barkati, the Islamic head priest of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan Mosque, admitted offering money to anyone who “blackened” Taslima’s face. He also accused her of being a “Jewish spy.”

In 2005, her attempt to read an anti-war poem entitled “America” to a large Bengali crowd attending the North American Bengali Conference at Madison Square Garden resulted in her being booed off the stage.

As of 2007, Taslima has been living in exile for more than 13 years. Though she is still a citizen of Bangladesh, all the successive governments there have deliberately not taken any step to help her return to the country. She is currently living in Kolkata on the basis of a periodic visa given by the Indian government. She has requested the Indian government to grant her Indian citizenship.

In March 2007, the “All India Ittehad Millat Council” of Bareilly U.P offered 500,000 rupees for her beheading. The group’s president, Tauqir Raza Khan, said the only way the bounty would be lifted was if Nasreen “apologises, burns her books and leaves.”

On August 9, 2007, Taslima was attacked at the Hyderabad Press Club in the state of Andhra Pradesh. She was there for the launch of her book Shodh in the Telugu language. Three MLAs of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party were among those who physically attacked her (with bouquets, flower pots and chairs) for humiliating Islam. Akbaruddin Owaisi, also an MLA and MIM Floor leader in the Assembly, justified the attacks by saying, “We are not bothered about our MLA status. We are Muslims first. And it’s our responsibility to test those who have said anything against Islam in which ever way possible.” Taslim, who backed into a corner, said the attack was barbaric but pledged she would not be cowed by the bigots, who were merely a minority. The Internal Affairs bureau minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi condemned the incident, saying, “It’s a very shameful thing if any person is attacked. We criticise this incident in the strongest of terms.”

Yet another entry in the annuls of Islam’s famous history of tolerance.

You’d think she was Ann Coulter.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, November 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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