Who is she?
Taslima Nasrin is a Bangladeshi writer and human rights activist who has lived in exile since 1994. She has a fatwa (death threat) on her by Islamic extremists because of her unflinching criticism of Islam, particularly its treatment of women.
Taslima writes about and has spoken widely about the treatment of Bangladeshi women – she says men want to keep the women ‘veiled, illiterate and in the kitchen’. She refuses to wear a burqa or veil of any kind. Taslima says that women should have control whether they have children or not and have equal marriage rights to men in Islamic societies.
Her 2010 novel Lajja describes a Hindu family’s persecution by Muslims seeking revenge for the destruction of a mosque, including the rape, kidnap and murder of women. The book sold more than 60,000 copies in Bangladesh before it was banned.
Why should we thank her?
Taslima has defied religious zealots who want her dead for her beliefs, enduring numerous death threats and being forced to live in many different countries for her safety. She has spoken out about the treatment of women in her home country and religion’s subordination of women.
“I have shaken the society with my anger. I’m nothing without the anger, so no compromise on that.”