In January, Muslim protesters burned effigies of writer Taslima Nasreen who has been in the sites of Islamic extremists since the early 1990s.
In 1994, Nasreen received death threats and was forced to flee her native Bangladesh over her novel, Shame. That book, and both of Nasreen’s subsequent novels, have both been banned in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal for their allaged anti-Islam content (Shame is about a Hindu family mistreated by Muslims).
Nasreen’s major offense has been to declare herself an atheist and protest that the Koran is inimical to women’s rights. Like a Muslim version of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who made similar arguments about Christianity in the U.S., though without the fatwas). She has called for Bangladesh to drop its Islamic sharia law. In return, a number of Islamic groups put out fatwas offering rewards for her death.
Since 1994, Nasreen has lived in self-imposed exile in Europe and the United States.
Effigies of writer burned. The BBC, January 21, 2004.
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