Secularism

New death threat against Taslima Nasreen

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Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi feminist writer who spoke in London at an International Women’s Day event a fornight ago has had a Rs 500,000 (£6000) bounty put on her head by an Indian Mulsim group, the All India Ibtehad Council.

According to the Daily Times in India, Taqi Raza Khan, the president of the council affered the reward to anyone carrying out the “extermination of this notorious woman”, saying “Taslima has put Muslims to shame in her writing. She should be killed and beheaded and anyone who does this will get a reward from the council.”

Taslima Nasreen fled Bangladesh in 1994 after Muslim fundamentalists declared her writings blasphemous and demanded her execution.

A website billed as “Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims” offers more background information on the death-fatwa againts Nasreen and others.

UPDATE: Sunny draws our attention in the comments to a story in the Assyrian International News Agency that says that other prominent Muslim organisations in India have reacted with “shock” to the fatwa against Taslima Nasreen.

“This is 21st century India and not some kind of mediaeval kingdom,” says Yasoob Abbas, general secretary of All India Shia Personal Law Board.

Nevertheless, he says that agree that Nasreen “needs to be boycotted and driven out of India”. He doesn’t say how Nasreen should be driven out of India, but the All India Ibtehad Council has opened the bidding.

According to AINA, Maulana Naimurrehman, general secretary of Ulema Council, aired grave reservation over government’s support for Taslima. She said: “She has hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims and must be asked to leave immediately. But killing her? It seems Taqi Raza Khan got carried away and announced that reward. The fatwa must not be taken seriously.”

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