Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Persecution of Taslima Nasreen

Adrian Morgan has written a detailed, chilling account of the 15 years of death threats, intimidation, and official harassment endured by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. I strongly encourage you to read Morgan's article. In the meantime, allow me to quote his flawless conclusion:

The life of Taslima should be protected. If India fails to protect her and panders to its Muslim community by not punishing imams who incite hate, then Islamist bigotry and intolerance will have destroyed its secular ideals as surely as they have already destroyed those of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Secularism should allow religious freedom for all its citizens – including those who criticize religion. Unfortunately, the government and police in India appear to allow Islamists to bully and destroy their secular ideals. This form of appeasement is pernicious – it erodes the constitution, and acts as a cancer in the body politic. No person in any society should be above the law. Bangladesh, which began with independent and secular ideals, has allowed Islamists to turn it into a failed state. Pakistan too is on the brink of being a failed state. India should assert its constitutional and secular values and imprison those who incite murder. If it fails to protect this brave woman from the outrageous threats of Muslim fanatics, then India will have embarked upon the same route that has destroyed the democracies of its neighbors, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Maybe the last words here should be those of Taslima Nasreen. These are not empty words – they are as real as her life: "Come what may, I will continue my fight for equality and justice without any compromise until my death. Come what may, I will never be silenced."

Taslima Nasreen - A Woman of Moral Substance


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