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    Escape from the Fundamentalists' Furious Hatred ! "She has insulted our religion: she must die!"

    Bangladesh is a land of mixed culture, the product of people belonging to different religions. Moreover the country has a rich literary history. Taslima Nasreen took the right to write about the unequal treatment of men and women in her country. Due to the rising intolerance of the Islamic clergymen she has been forced into exile in Sweden:
    "She has insulted our religion: she must die!"

    Taslima Nasreen (35) is a gynaecologist. Next to that she works as a poet and a novelist. In her last novel entitled "The Shame", ("Lajja"), she shouts out against religious intolerance in general and the anachronistic violation of human rights particularly against women. For these claims she has been condemned to death by the Nazrul Islam mufti, the highest authority in Bangladesh, who pronounced a fatwa on her head of about $2500.

    Mrs. Nasreen, how would you describe your society politically?
    Bangladesh has a population of 130 million and most are fundamentalist, the rest of the population is Hindu. Fundamentalism has grown stronger since the movement receives money and arms from the richer and more developed countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Democratic movements do exist in Bangladesh, but they have little financial means and no arms. What democratic governments should do is help democracy morally and support the human rights movement financially. They should also criticize fundamentalists when they transgress human rights.

    How is the position of a woman considered in Bangladesh?
    A woman is regarded as a slave, an inferior being, not a human being. Society does not accept a female child. Let me give one example: if a wife gives birth to a girl she is not accepted in her society. Moreover her husband may even be divorced if she doesn't give birth to a boy. A woman is allowed to study because this assures her family that she would contract a suitable marriage. But after the marriage a bride is her husband's slave. According to the Koran:
    "woman's heaven is to be like our Mother Earth which man should irrigate in order to make her fertile."

    What kind of society do you dream of?
    A society shouldn't be called Islamic or Christian. A society should be secular and multicultural. I believe in a modern Socialist society where people are equal.

    How are you fighting?
    I'm writing. I'm writing against bigotry and unbearable misreatment of women.

    Has your campaign achieved anything? Has anything changed at all in Bangladesh?
    Mainly, I wanted to make women conscious of their rights. They have been taught over centuries that their fatal destiny was to be the slaves of men. Many women have now become conscious of their rights. They have now started to study and get work outside their homes and become economically independent.

    You say that the comment about Islamic law and the Koran sparked the fatwa against you and such outrage in Bangladesh and you have been misquoted by an Indian newspaper. What was the point that you were trying to make: What were you saying that was misquoted?
    I said that Islamic law, sharia law, should be removed from society. We need civil law to give women total freedom and equality.

    So you weren't saying at that point that the Koran should be rewritten, but a civil application of the Koran...
    I don't need a revision of the Koran because I think the Koran is out of place, out of time.

    I know that you've been described as a female Salman Rushdie, and I know that you reject that description and that he does too. Rushdie has said that it is your enemies that have more in common than the two of you. What empathy do you feel with Salman Rushdie, what common ground?
    Salman has criticised Islam and I also criticise Islam - that is the common ground. Christian people can criticise Christianity, Hindu people can criticise Hinduism, but Muslims are not allowed to criticise Islam.


    [This message has been edited by Rubiya Nur (edited July 30, 2000).]


      What a nonsense.....

      Do we wanna talk logic here?? Medical Doctor by trade doesn't imply that she has any authority or expertise to pass the judgement that "Quran is out of date, out of place".

      Was she forced to accept Islam??? Was someone pointing a knife to her neck to become muslim?? If she is so intellectual, she ought to know the ramifications of being muslim. Otherwise, she is nothing but a stupid FOOL.

      Her argument of secularism and socialism are pure non sense and practically a failure as proven by many countries over and over again throughout the history, Russia is one of the prime example.

      Quick to label people "fundamentalists" or "fanatics", she is forgeting that even in civil rights society one's individual rights of speech,ideas are never superior to whole society's sentiments and rights.

      Failing to realize this notion as well as the responsibilities of being muslim has led her to where she stands. There is a urdu proverb that suits perfect on her:

      "Jou Boo gay Vohi Kaatoo gay"


        NO no no no
        atleast not in this way ........
        really this lady is daring but she has some nerve to humiliate Holy Quran this way .....
        Quran is not at fault neither Islam .....
        Its ppl who take the teachings and twist and turn them to suit themselves......
        Sure the condition of Women is very bad in the third world countries but she shouldnt blame Islam for that ........however blaming 'the so called "MULLAS"' for this can be understood .......
        However i guess most of u will agree that the condition of women is very bad in those countries but to change that we need to reform the system not talk about God forbid "throwing out the Quran"

        [This message has been edited by nadia21 (edited May 31, 1999).]


          I really don't understand why people get so worked up when someone says something unpleasant about the Koran. It's a great book, and any amount of mud slinging can't and won't change that fact. Even if they defaced a copy of it, it's truth is eternal and powerful. No one I know would do it but let's be a little rational and a bit less emotional about this! It's not a "magic" book in the sense of "jadoo", it's miraculous for the things it says and the way it guides us.

          As a friend one told me when someone else insulted me, thy're not talking about you, they're talking about themselves.


            shirin ji
            excellent point



              Your perspective may very well serve as far as individual thinking goes, but its detrimental for a society's dignity, reputation if these acts are let go of or unanswered under the judgement that you presented. I am not saying that my thinking or idealogy is so fragile that it would flip right away after I read Ms. Nasreen's or Rushdie's book, but that doesn't imply that other people including non-believers wouldn't form a negative impression of Islam thanks to these idiotic books.

              I am in complete favor of restrictions as well as deterring steps to be taken so in future people wouldn't consider Islam or Quran from someone's figment of imagination.



                I heared her actual point of contention was about women's right of marriages. She had made comment that if Islam allows a man to have more than one wife, why can't a muslim woman have more than one husband at a time!!

                poor pathetic soul...talking her western masters language...just to get cheap publicity, she is rightfully condemned to death, thats what she deserved. Who the hell she is to say Quran is outdated and out of place, next she would probably try to bring in a "new updated version of Quran" just as her western masters do, every year bringing in new editions of bible!!



                  Instead of honouring this deranged harlot, why don't you write a book about Quran being outdated.

                  Be sure to publish your name and address so that people will be able to send you their nice notes of congratulation.


                    Since when is Bangladesh an "Islamic" State? Killing someone for writing? No matter how despicable, should not be a reason to justify a demand for killing someone. Freedom to express oneself should be held above all other facets of life. It is like the air we breath. It is wrong for a society to ask an individual to revolve around it.

                    My sympathies with Dr. Nasreen. She is a brave and courageous woman to have stood up to religious fanaticism and male chauvinism.


                      I have repeatedly CONDEMNED your Fundamentalist extremist Islam as not being a Religion but a cult or very rightly, a terror movement.
                      Also, the World is waking up to the dangers of Fundamentalist Islam which codifies the killing & taking of ones's life for reward of Paradise with virgin hoars(females). In this context, please refer to my recent thread in Religious Affairs:
                      3)ISLAMIC TERRORISTS THREAT TO U.S.A. - CIA.

                      A muslim's ability to express openly does not exist; it has been muzzled with edicts of 'bidat' 'munafiqen' 'kufr' etc. etc. all intended to keep the followers quiet, & subservient to the mullahs (clergies) and to the extremist interpretations of the Quran & Hadiths.

                      Finally, Mr.Xtreme asks for my mailing address in his post above -- that in actuality is a veiled threat or warning to me; isn't it Mr. Xtreme!


                        abdulmalik ji
                        dont get heated over such comments
                        i understand what u mean by posting what u just did cause thats the way the world is seeing muslims these days.......
                        but that doesnt make all of the muslims like that.....
                        islam doesnt teach to kill,
                        islam doesnt teach to force
                        islam doesnt teach to condemn women in every manner
                        however some twisted minds are twisting the teachings to get there work done and in the process humiliating islam in the eyes of the world.......
                        as for Taslima Nasreen goes, i respect her courage for standing upto the corrupt male dominant society .....however she is knocking at the wrong door......



                          You are a nutcase. You are the most fanatical person on this forum.

                          Go give your speech in Bangladesh.



                            Please realize….if you don't agree with a post…you should respond and prove your opposing point. That is why this is a discussion board. Personal attacks are only to fulfill your own sense of superiority.

                            IMO you can show that someone is an "idiot" through how well you do at breaking down their argument.

                            Anyways…restrain from further personal comments or your posts will be edited.

                            [This message has been edited by kashmirigirl (edited June 02, 1999).]



                              I agree.

                              Name calling is a waste of time.

                              Please take note;

                              NYAhmadi: "religious fanaticism and male chauvinism."

                              aDbulmaliCk: "ISLAMIC TERRORISTS"

                              also "Fundamentalist extremist Islam"

                              These are all names that we have been lumbered with by the West.

                              Looks like Intellectual Imperialism is live and kicking.