Friday, November 23, 2007

Feminist Criticizes Islamists, Flees for Safety

Criticize radical Islamists and run for your life.

Anyone detect a trend here?

Author Taslima Nasreen is on the run
Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has been on the run from extremist Muslims threatening to kill her ever since she started writing books that incensed religious hardliners.

Yesterday, Nasreen was being bundled from place to place in an all-enveloping black burqa as Indian authorities sought her a safe haven following violent Islamist protests calling for her expulsion.

Police in the West Bengal capital put her on a flight to Jaipur, but the local Rajasthan government there also told her to leave at dawn yesterday.

"She arrived here without informing us. Because of security reasons, the government has asked her to leave," Rajasthan's home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said.

The 45-year-old author declined to say where she was after leaving Rajasthan.

"I am mentally distressed. I am not well at all," Nasreen said.

Nasreen, who lives in self-imposed exile in India, was escorted by Rajasthan police to the state border, where police from neighbouring Haryana were to take over security arrangements, officials said.

Now the 45-year-old gynaecologist-turned author who describes herself as a humanist says all she wants to do is stay in India but has "no place to go."

"I have no place to go. India is my home, and I would like to keep living in this country till I die," she said. Media reports said New Delhi has extended her Indian visa, which was due to expire in February 2008.

The Hindu nationalist BJP has demanded a permanent visa for Nasreen, saying she should be allowed the freedom of speech enjoyed by those who make anti-Hindu remarks. Nasreen was being "treated like a football", senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.

In New Delhi, Muslim group, All India Milli Council, said all Muslim organisations would "vehemently protest" her stay as she has "hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in the country."
Such tolerance and respect for differing viewpoints.

More from the BBC.
Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasreen has been moved out of the western Indian city of Jaipur to an undisclosed destination.

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

But officials said she may be taken to the Indian capital, Delhi.

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.
Hindustan Times account:
Complete anarchy prevailed across large parts of the city on Wednesday as angry mobs hurled brickbats and bottles and burnt over a dozen vehicles in protest against the developments in Nandigram, as well as the continued presence in the city of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.

Around 40 people, most of them policemen, were injured before the army was called in to restore calm. More than 60 people have been arrested and night curfew clamped in the affected areas.

It started with a demonstration by a local group, the All India Minorities Forum (AIMF), which had been campaigning for some time against renewing Nasreen’s Indian visa. With around 70 per cent of the population in Nandigram comprising Muslims, the AIMF on Tuesday added the violence-hit region’s cause to its list.

The National Organization for Women was unavailable for comment.

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