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Taslima faces Muslim ire at Jaipur lit fest

Jaipur, Jan 24, 2017, DHNS 1:12 IST
Author Taslima Nasreen at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Monday. JAINISH VIG
The appearance of exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin at the Jaipur Literature Festival caused a stir, as various Muslim organisations gathered outside the venue to protest against her participation.

Organisers had kept Taslima’s participation a secret. Learning about her presence, 20 organisations, including the Rajasthan Muslim Forum, Mili Council, Tahafuz-e-Imam, Jamaat-e-Islami, the Muslim personal law board and Mansuri Samaj, raised slogans outside Diggi Palace against the author and the festival organisers.

“She was thrown out of Bangladesh. She was allowed to stay in this country, but she has got too much freedom,” Rajasthan Muslim Forum convener Qari Moinuddin told DH.

Protestors slammed the organisers for withholding her name from the programme and then advancing her session. Protesters, however, dispersed after Sanjoy Roy from the organisers’ side assured them that Taslima will not be invited again.

“We assured the group that we will never invite (author) Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen ever again,” Roy said.

Conversing with the chair of the Writers-in-Prison Committee of PEN International Salil Tripathi, Taslima underlined the lack of freedom in criticising Islam. “People come running after your life, issue fatwas and want to kill you,” she said.

The 55-year-old author said the uniform civil code is necessary to protect Muslim women. “If Hindu women can divorce their husbands and have a say in their properties, and we’ve seen how progressive that has been, then why are the Islamic fundamentalists opposing the uniform civil law? Is that not democratic?” she asked.

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