But did India act any better? Did it welcome her and give her protection? Not all! Ultimately Taslima fled from India to the US after she was named as an al-Qaeda murder target, the US based Center for Inquiry said.Ms Nasreen recently tweeted that she was not safe in India.”Was threatened by Islamists who killed atheist bloggers in B’desh. Worried,” she tweeted.
Here below an interview of her done a few years ago.
- Did you have a normal life in Bangladesh before the fatwa?
- Yes, I had normal life in Bangladesh before the fatwa.
- Is Bangladesh a special country for you and what is the reason?
- I was born and brought up in Bangladesh. I always want to go back to my country to live there. And want to encourage women to fight for their rights and freedom and to live with dignity and honor.
- What are the reasons that Bangladesh went from an open tolerant country to what it is now?
- The governments use religion to get votes from ignorant masses and instead of spreading secular education, they encourage building madrasas and Mosques which are used as the factories to flourish fundamentalism.
- Are Islamic fundamentalists a minority in Bangladesh?
- They are minority. But they are strong enough to destroy the society.
- Can you talk about the persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh, the reasons and some instances?
- Hindus have been persecuted in Bangladesh. Rising of Muslim fundamentalism is one of the main reasons.
- What was the condition of women in Bangladesh during your childhood? And now? The reasons?
- Women are not considered as human beings in Bangladesh. They are treated as slaves, sexual objects and child bearing machines. But in my childhood I have not seen so many women covered with Burkhas, now it is like epidemic. because of islamization which was started from the late 80’s.
- When you fled to India, were you initially welcome there?
- I was not allowed to enter India from 1994 to 1999. Because the door of Bangladesh was closed for me, I was eager to go to India, but I was prevented. But India opened her door for me in the end of 1999. I started visiting India since then and started living there in 2004.
- What happened henceforth which soured things?
- It was very good all those years. I enjoyed living in Calcutta. But when the Muslim fundamentalists attacked me in Hyderabad on 9th of August in 2007, the situation changed. I was forced to live in virtual house arrest in my apartment in Calcutta . and then when I was bundled out of Calcutta on the 22nd of November after the violent protest for my deportation from India by the Muslim fundamentalists, and was thrown out of Rajasthan too, I was again forced to live under house arrest in Delhi. I had to live under house arrest for 7 and half months in India before I was forced to leave.
- Why do you like Calcutta?
- I like Calcutta because I am Bengali, and I can enjoy Bengali language and culture in Calcutta. It is important for a Bengali writer to live in Bengali environment.
- What is the reason Muslims in Calcutta went after you? Is it things you said, or just because the mollahs instigated them?
- The Muslims who protested against my staying in Calcutta never read any of my books. Definitely Mullahs instigated them.
- You have said time and again that the Koran needs to be reformed? Why
- I never said that the Koran should be reformed. I am a truly secular humanist. I don’t believe in religion. what I said is that the religious scriptures are out of date and out of time. we don’t need koranic laws, what we need is uniform civil code based in equality.
- And How to produce this reform, as nobody seems to dare to do it?
- we should spread secular and scientific education .
- Can you say a few words about the role of Pakistan in extremism and terrorism?
- Unfortunately Pakistan has become a safe haven for terrorists.
- Do you think America’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan is unfair?
- I don’t like American foreign policy. You can’t make the fundamentalists disappeared from the earth by killing them. People need to be educated about democracy, secularism, equal rights, women’s freedom, and need to be educated to respect fellow human beings irrespective of their gender and beliefs. This education should start from primary schools.
- Do you like or dislike the US? And for what reasons?
- I don’t dislike the people of US. I dislike some of the policies taken by the authority which go against humanity.
- What is the future of Islam in the world? Do you believe in a clash of civilizations as Huntington wrote?
- I believe the clash is between secularism and fundamentalism. between rational logical mind and irrational blind faith. the clash is between modernity and antimodernism, between freedom and oppression, between 21st century and dark middle age, between future and the past, between those who value Human Rights and who do not.
What do you feel about this honorary citizenship (given by France a few years ago)?
I feel honored to be citizen of Paris, a place for writers and artists .
- Can you define yourself in a few words?
- A honest human being who dedicates her life for humanity.
- Do you feel you will be able soon to go back to 1) India? 2) Bangladesh
- I have no idea.