Here is a pefect opportunity for self-proclaimed Muslim moderates to demonstrate the authenticity of their commitment to the idea that human beings ought not to be subjected to violent intimidation and threats for expressing their opinions. They can roundly condemn the “All India Ibtehad Council” and begin efforts within Muslim communities worldwide to express their support for Taslima Nasrin, defending her right to speak even if they disagree with what they says. When we see in the Islamic world as many pro-Taslima demonstrations as we say Cartoon Rage and Pope Rage demonstrations, we may be getting somewhere.
From AFP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
LUCKNOW, India – An Indian Muslim group has offered a 500,000 rupee (11,319 dollar) bounty for the beheading of controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen.
The president of the All India Ibtehad Council said on Friday he had declared the reward for anyone who carried out the “quatal” or “extermination” of the “notorious woman.”
“Taslima has put Muslims to shame in her writing. She should be killed and beheaded and anyone who does this will get a reward from the council,” Taqi Raza Khan said in a statement received in the northern city of Lucknow.
The council, based in Bareilly town also in Uttar Pradesh state, is a splinter group of the influential All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Khan said the only way the bounty would be lifted was if Nasreen “apologises, burns her books and leaves.”
Nasreen has incensed conservative Muslims for writing a novel “Lajja” or “Shame” depicting the life of a Hindu family facing the ire of Muslims in Bangladesh. The book is banned in Muslim-majority Bangladesh along with her autobiographical works on grounds of being anti-Islamic.
The author was forced to flee her homeland in 1994 after radical Muslims decried her writings as blasphemous and demanded her execution.