An "Unlimited" Bounty on Taslima Nasreen
The Hindustan Times reported Friday on the latest development in the Taslima Nasreen situation:
A week after Muslim fundamentalists assaulted Taslima Nasreen in Hyderabad, some Muslim leaders here revived an old fatwa against her, telling her to leave the country and offering an unlimited amount of money to anybody who would kill her.
SM Noorur Rehman Barkati, Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan mosque, and leaders of the Majlish Banchao Tanjim (MBT) made the announcement during Friday prayers. “If she does not leave within a month, she will face dire consequences. We have also asked the government not to renew her visa and deport her,” MBT spokesperson Majid Ullah Khan said. The MBT is a breakaway group of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which had attacked the author in Hyderabad.
Imam Barkati pointed out that the fatwa was an extension of the one issued in 1993 after the release of Lajja. But unlike the current fatwa, the earlier one promised had Rs 1 lakh to anyone who would assault or kill the author.
“Taslima has spoken against Islam and Prophet Muhammad and we will go to any extent to eliminate her,” Khan said. He added that the MBT would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to demand Taslima’s ouster.
(Emphasis added-DD; see also Jihad Watch)
To her credit, Ms. Nasreen remains undeterred by the Islamist campaign of violence and intimidation directed against her. In fact, the Hindustan Times noted today, she is even working on a sequel to the novel that earned her the original fatwa:
"Sharam, the sequel of Lajja (Shame), has the principal characters of the first novel who came over to India from Bangladesh in 1993 and is set in the backdrop here," Taslima told PTI.
Lajja, which drew attention to the torture of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh, raised the hackles of Muslim clerics and was banned by the Bangladesh government.
Terming her detractors as proponents of "irrational blind faith," Taslima, who has been living in exile for 12 years and whose Bangladeshi passport stands revoked, said "they are averse to a rationale logical mind."
In another bit of good news, the Indian government, in defiance of Islamist threats, officially extended Ms. Nasreen's guest visa by 6 months on Saturday.