They are going to kill me.

I write books on women’s rights and humanism. But the fanatics won’t let me live. Just got this news. 200,000 ulemas will sign the petition demanding my deportation. Then 2 million Muslims in urs celebration will get crazy to throw me out of the country or to kill me in the name of Islam. It is so easy for Islamists to kill and destroy human lives. They only need to think of Allah and his messenger in order to become cold blooded murderers.

A Muslim cleric from UP, who had filed a police complaint against Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, is now at the forefront of a campaign demanding that she be expelled from India for spreading “anti-Muslim feeling.”

“We will start a campaign for expulsion of Taslima Nasreen. She is against our religion and has hurt our clerics,” said Hasan Raza Khan alias Noori Miyan, son of the ‘sajjadanasheen’ of Bareilly’s Aala Hazrat Dargah, Maulana Subhan Raza Khan.

He said the demand will be raised during the last day of annual Urs-e-Razwi of Imam Ahmed Raza, commonly known as Aala Hazrat, in Bareilly on Monday.

Noori was also felicitated by Raza Academy of Mumbai during the urs on Saturday for taking “the initiative to lodged the case against Taslima.”

Noori had lodged the case with Bareilly Kotwali on December 4 against Taslima for using abusive language against Muftis and hurting the feelings of Muslims.

“We will collect signatures of nearly two lakh ulemas demanding expulsion of Taslima. Nearly 20 lakh people come during the urs celebrations and we will put forward our demand before them,” he said.

Noori said Taslima is a foreigner who is “spoiling the atmosphere of our country by spreading anti Muslim feeling”. “I don’t see any point in Taslima being given asylum in our country. She should be immediately asked to leave,” he added.

Earlier, Noori’s uncle Tauqeer Raza Khan, the chief of Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC) had allegedly announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on Taslima’s head if she remains in India.

Taslima had reacted after Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal had met Tauqeer Raza before Delhi Assembly elections soliciting his support.

Taslima Nasreen and these dark times

Garga Chatterjee is the guest blogger today. He is a brain scientist at MIT, USA. Here he analyzes the shrinking space for free expression in West Bengal, India.

Many Bengalis take a lot of pride about Kolkata, as a centre for free thought and artistic expression. Kolkata, the so-called ‘cultural capital’, has demonstrated the increasing emptiness of the epithet, yet again. Taslima Nasreen, one of the most famous Bengali authors alive, had scripted a TV serial named ‘Doohshahobash’ ( Difficult cohabitaions) portraying 3 sisters and their lives – standing up to kinds of unjust behaviour that are everyday realities for the lives of women in the subcontinent. Nasreen has long lent a powerful voice to some of the most private oppressions that women face, often silently. The private channel where the serial was slotted ran a vigorous and visible advertising campaign – Nasreen’s name still has serious pull among Bengalis and the channel knew it. Nasreen had made it clear that the serial had nothing to do with religion. However that was not enough for the self-appointed ‘leaders’ of the Muslims of West Bengal who issued warnings to the effect that the serial not be aired. The commencement of the serial, sure to be a hit and a commercial success for the channel, has now been postponed indefinitely. One can imagine the pressure the producers and broadcasters have faced that led to the shelving of a potential runaway commercial success. As in the recent incident of Salman Rushdie being prevented from coming to Kolkata due to the protest by similar characters, one can be sure of the kind of role the Trinamool Congress government and its law enforcement agencies had in this affair. If the government is to be believed, it had no role in the criminal farce that is being played out unchecked. Muzzling free speech and right to expression does not always need written orders from the government. A phone call here, a verbal order there – these are typically enough.

Nasreen has been living in New Delhi since 2011, after being hounded out of Kolkata by the CPI(M) led government on the instigation of Muslim groups threatening ‘unrest’. The pathetic reality of the lives of ordinary women in the subcontinent and the extraordinary oppression meted out to them, especially due to certain religious systems, have been the single most important theme of her writing. Steeped broadly and deeply in the cultural fabric of Bengal, the specific socio-geographical setting of much of her work is in the Muslim-majority nation-state of Bangladesh. Hence, in her earlier writings, Islam primarily represented the ugly face of religious majoritarianism. However, those who have cared to read her corpus, know very well that she has been an equal-opportunity truth-teller, castigating both Hindu and Muslim religious practices and ideologies.

Taslima Nasreen is a daughter of the subcontinent and of the world. Islamists in Bangladesh wanted her head and made life miserable for her. After a few years in the West, she returned to West Bengal. I say ‘returned’ as it was an inalienable part of her cultural homeland. In Kolkata too, she lived in the face of constant death-threats there too. After her forcible ejection from Kolkata, she has never been allowed back, though she remains extremely interested in relocating back. One would think that the culture of issuing death-threats to one feels one’s religion has been slighted by is alien to Bengal – which has, for centuries, been the ground Zero of religious syncretism as well as tolerance to so-called deviants of all hues. It is indeed sad that this alien culture of extremism of relatively recent import has managed to gain the upper-hand so as to force the government of the day to pander to these elements at huge cost to the social and cultural fabric of West Bengal.

Who exactly are these vocal opposers of Taslima Nasreen’s serial being shown publicly? Whenever one has self-appointed spokespersons doing the shrillest speaking, it is useful to study their antecedents. Abdul Aziz of Milli Ittehad Parishad and Mohammad Quamruzzaman of the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation are two prime examples who have been extraordinarily active in running the Taslima-denounication industry in West Bengal. Both these organizations share another distinction. They led a mass-meeting earlier this year in Kolkata protesting the punishment of Islamist leaders of Bangladesh who had directly committed crimes against humanity during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Thus those who defended rapists and mass murderers of 1971 (the victims were Bengalis, of whom a significant proportion were Muslims) have taken upon the mantle of community guardianship of Muslims in West Bengal. It cannot be clearer what kind of Muslim interest these folks represent. To even consider that such elements represent Muslim interests of West Bengal is tantamount to insulting the intelligence and humanity of the Mohammedans of the state.

Kolkata’s intelligentsia and youth, once known to take to the streets and chant songs to protest the muzzling of Paul Robeson, a black-American singer and artist, has had nothing but silence to offer on this one. The Trinamool Congress rulers and the erstwhile CPI(M) rulers have set a record of competing with each other on muzzling free speech on the instigation of groups in whose worldview, free speech has no place. While there may be short-term electoral gain for such posturing, this race to the bottom has no winners. The loser is the idea of a free and democratic society where dialogue and understanding is privileged over violence to ‘solve’ differences. In effect, such groups aspire for a society where there are no differences – no diversity of thought, expression, living and being. Nothing is more alien to the human condition than that. Gods only can help a society where governmental policy is dictated by sociopaths, unless a critical mass stands up to publicly state that enough is enough. Does the right to be offended take precedence over the right to free speech? If yes, we are in sad and dark times.

When insulting books, gods and other creatures has become the touchstone of ‘community leadership’, one might do well to remember the words of Kaji Nazrul Islam, the fiery poet of all of Bengal who is increasingly being packaged into a ‘Muslim’ poet – ‘Manush enechhe grontho, grontho aneni manush kono’ (Man has produced books, no book has ever produced a man). There is nothing truer than man himself and free speech is an pre-condition for that truth to shine forth, in its myriad hues. It is high time we realized that.

Is anyone listening?

It is an interview.

It’s hard to miss her in Calcutta these days. She beams at passers-by from king-size hoardings at several busy junctions, anxiously marking her “return” to Bengal after six years.

But Taslima Nasreen is not returning to the city. Not in person, certainly — thanks to embargoes on her travelling and living in India. And not on television either, which had been promoting her as the writer of a mega serial that was to have been aired from December 19.

Despite the grand announcements, the show has been stalled. And Nasreen is furious. “Hating Taslima is an essential part of politics in the subcontinent. I feel pity for those who need to violate a writer’s rights to get votes,” she tweeted. “Whatever I write is hated by ignorant anti-women, anti-human rights bigots. Because they are afraid of the truth and the power of the pen,” said another tweet.

She walks into the drawing room-cum-study of her apartment located in an upmarket area of Delhi, where she has been living since 2008, full of misgivings. Just days before the serial was called off, she’d heard that the Calcutta police had met the producers of the serial.

“Some bigoted individuals asked for a ban and the state acquiesced — I don’t think this will happen even in Saudi Arabia,” she says. “But fundamentalists are anti-women and anti-freedom of expression, and for political reasons the government might side with them. But why are the people in Bengal silent,” she asks.

Dressed in grey winter pants, a black sweater and a blue embroidered stole, the maverick writer looks younger than her 51 years with her bright eyes and dishevelled short crop. She sinks into a reclining chair with a blue iPad in her hand. All around her are bookshelves, all packed with books. Stickers screaming messages such as “Atheism cures religious terrorism” are pasted on the shelves. Honorary certificates bestowed by foreign institutions, framed beautifully, adorn a whole wall in the study.

It has been almost 20 years since she was exiled from Bangladesh for “anti-Islam” writings and six years since she was ousted from West Bengal following communal disturbances in Calcutta’s Ripon Street. It was thought that she would return — in the shape of the serial called Dusahobas or unbearable co-existence, which was to be aired on Aakash Aath and promoted as a serial radically different from the regular saas-bahu stories.

This is the second time the soap has been stalled. She began writing it in 2006, when several episodes were also shot. “But then the 2007 drama happened and I was summarily thrown out of the city on November 22 that year,” she says, referring to the Ripon street violence. “That brought the production to a standstill.”

She had then urged her producers not to give up on the series merely because she had been ousted by the Bengal government, which cited her as a problem for law and order. “Why should the producers, or any creative person for that matter, be afraid of negative forces? These are just fringe elements who would oppose anyone who talks about gender equality and social change because they are misogynists.”

She cites the treatment meted out to reformists Vidyasagar and Raja Rammohan Roy by “anti-progress groups” for their pro-women measures. “The same thing is happening to me — I speak about new ideas, changing society, gender equality and humanism.”

What riles her more is the lack of protest in Calcutta. “This is a dangerous sign — if writers, intellectuals and other creative people keep quiet after this, something is wrong with society. Society is on the path of decline — this is what the silence signifies.

“But intellectuals do not keep their mouths shut when Hindu fanatics attack writers or artistes, or even when Muslim fanatics attack male writers such as Salman Rushdie. Misogynistic society shows solidarity towards victims, provided the victims are male, macho or anti-feminist,” she says.

Nasreen alleges that her ouster from Calcutta was premeditated. “Few people know that I was actually put under house arrest for about four months before the November incident,” she says, adding that she had to leave her 7 Rawdon Street residence in Calcutta with just her laptop and a one-way ticket to Rajasthan.

“From August that year, I was repeatedly asked by the Left Front government to leave the country. They even used to send the then police commissioner to coax me; he asked me to go to the jungles of Madhya Pradesh.” Nirbasan (Exile), the seventh part of her autobiography, documents her ouster from the city where she lived from 2004 to 2007.

She stresses that the Ripon Street incident was not a “Muslim uprising” against her. “The original plan was to agitate against the violence in Nandigram,” she says, referring to the 2007 police firing in which several villagers were killed. “The outburst was actually against the government for doing little for the community. The CPI(M) was losing popularity at that time — so they wanted to use me to score some political brownie points.”

She says she was “deeply hurt” by the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s behaviour. “I tried to meet him at that time, but he didn’t meet me. But Jyotibabu (ex-chief minister) supported me right through the end. He was also against banning my books in Bengal,” she adds.

Nasreen believes that the present state government is also following in the footsteps of the Leftists. “It never criticised the way the Left Front government wronged me.”

The author believes that her “persecution” in West Bengal began in 2003 when her book Dwikhandito (Split into Two) was banned by the state government. The book, it was alleged, was “anti-Islamic”, which was the brush that she was tarred with in Bangladesh.

Nasreen — who fled Bangladesh in 1994 after threats to her life — is, however, happy to have found a platform for her views in her motherland. She has been writing for a daily called Bangladesh Pratidin.

“I write a bimonthly column for the paper. I write generally on women’s issues, politics, etc. But I have been requested by editors not to write anything on religion,” she says. “For 20 years or so, they were afraid to touch me. But now I can reach out to my fans in Bangladesh.”

However, Nasreen is worried about Pan- Islamists, believers in Muslim brotherhood, who, she says, have been “growing at an alarming rate” in Bangladesh. “They are far more radical than what they were in 1971,” she says. At the same time, she is concerned about the path being taken by the “secularists” of Bangladesh.

“They are rejoicing at Abdul Kader Mullah’s death,” she says, referring to a Bangladeshi Islamist leader who was hanged earlier this month for war crimes in 1971. “But my point is that death penalty to such people won’t solve anything unless a forceful attempt is made to secularise society.”

Her “secularist fans” in Bangladesh, she adds, are “shocked” by her opposition to the death penalty. “They say these are the same kind of people who drove you out of your homeland. So how could I write against the death penalty,” she says. “But I forgive these fundamentalists — I want them to change and be better human beings. I want jails to be classrooms where such people could learn humanism.”

She, however, is in favour of banning the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party because she feels it works “exactly like a terrorist organisation” in Bangladesh. “They kill people — take blogger Rajib Haider’s death,” she says. Haider was a Bangladeshi anti-fundamentalist who was allegedly killed by a group associated with the Jamaat.

She is critical of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “so-called anti-Islamist” stance. “If Hasina was truly anti-fundamentalist, she should have first brought Taslima Nasreen back to Bangladesh,” she says.

These days, Nasreen has found new a forum for her views — the Internet. “I rely on Twitter to update myself on developments around the world. You see, I don’t really have many platforms to express myself these days,” she rues.

She also blogs on topics that range from violence and politics to science. She has been spearheading an atheist movement in Calcutta. “It’s called Dharmamukto Manabbadi Mancha and it’s unique because all its atheist members — 400 or so — are Muslims working for gender equality and other issues,” she says, adding that her blogs sometimes attract 1-2 lakh readers a day.

Her tweets too have landed her in legal wrangles. Two cases — one in Uttar Pradesh and the other in Bihar — have been lodged against her. “The complaint from UP was against a tweet saying those who issue fatwas and rewards on beheading were anti-Constitution, anti-women and anti-freedom of expression,” says Nasreen, who has had three fatwas issued against her in Bangladesh and five in India so far.

“What have I said wrong? These people who issue fatwas are roaming scot-free while I am the one who is confined to one place,” she says, adding India’s home ministry has helped her with the cases.

She hasn’t stopped tweeting, though. “I will write more tweets. Let me see how people can stop me.”

Does she ever feel like giving it all up in India and settling down in the West? “I travel to Europe and America frequently. But I want to stay in India for the sake of this country,” she says. “I want to tell the world I can stay in India because this country is a true pillar of secularism and a standard bearer of freedom of expression in the subcontinent.”

Is anyone listening?

Finally, Banned.

The drama series or mega serial are banned.
The story of three sisters who are struggling to live with dignity and honour is banned.
The truth is banned.
Lies won. Insanity won. Fatwas won. Threats won. Barbarism won.
A bunch of faith-heads, hate mongers, anti-freespeech, filthy misogynist fanatics won.
The government of West Bengal in India made them win. On the 19th of December, 2013.

>

Some news are here:

1. West Bengal minister says: No place for people who hurt Muslim sentiments in Bengal.


2. The story of three sisters who struggle to live with dignity and honour in Kolkata is now banned.

3.State of free speech: Taslima Nasreen-scripted TV serial Dusahobas’ telecast deferred after Muslim groups object


4.Telecast of TV serial with Taslima’s script deferred.

5. TV serial on Taslima’s writings scrapped after Muslim protests.

6. Al Jazeera says something else.

Not a single episode was broadcasted, but the government banned the TV drama series, the project that could continue for a decade.

Liberal intellectuals are silent about the banning of my serial in India. They protest when Hindu fundamentalists violate a writer’s freedom of expression. They even protest when Muslim fundamentalists attack on a writer’s free speech. But only when that writer is a male, macho, anti-feminist, Salman Rushdie.

We, the ordinary people protested on twitter against the banning of the mega serial. Many people criticized India’s vote bank politics. The politicians are accused of appeasing Muslim religious leaders in India in order to get Muslim votes. This vote bank politics is destroying the democratic principles of the world’s largest democracy.

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Banning and censorship

The ads of the mega serial that I am writing for TV are all over West Bengal, India.

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The TV channel had telecasted ads every few minutes. One of them was about my return to Kolkata after 6 years. I was thrown out of West Bengal 6 years ago. The channel was giving people a pleasant surprise by saying Taslima the abandoned would come back to the city. It was not actually about my return, but my mega serial’s return. The other ads cleared up the confusion later.

People were happy.

Richard Dawkins was also concerned about the serial. He tweeted:

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But suddenly everything is dead. Everybody is silent. The channel, the producers, the artists all are shocked.

The police and a bunch of Muslim fanatics both asking the channel to ban my TV serial. The funny thing is that the serial has not started going on air but fanatic Mullahs started claiming that my serial ‘could hurt the sentiments of the community’. Mullahs don’t know about the story of the serial but they want to ban it because I have written it. They not only want to vanish me physically, they want to make all my ideas and thoughts vanished. I think they learn the trick from the West Bengal government. The West Bengal government banned my book in 2003 by claiming that my book could hurt the sentiments of Muslims. Mullahs have learned from the government that Muslim sentiments are very precious, their sentiments must not be hurt. So Muslim fanatics have the right to ban films, books, or whatever they like before they even read or watch those, to protect their so called sentiments.

Muslim fanatics opposing my script for mega serial.

Kolkata: Various Muslim organizations of West Bengal have opposed the broadcast of the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen’s script for a Bengali TV serial ‘Dusahobas’ (Living Difficulties) which, according to them would hurt the sentiments of the Muslims.

Dusahobas’ is slated to be telecast on an entertainment Bengali TV Channel “Aakash Aath” from December 19. According to sources, the serial is based on the travails and experiences in the life of the controversial Bengali author, who has been living in exile in India.

Ads say that the serial is about women’s struggle against dowry, trafficking etc. but the mullahs are saying that it is based on my life. These lunatic fringe try to find an excuse for their insanity. I am banned in West Bengal. So they think books written by me should be banned, anything based on my life should also be banned. These Muslim fanatics are minority in India, but the supports they get from the governments and the politicians make them more powerful and more lunatic.

dusshobas
With a slogan of `Go back Taslima’ Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati and Idris Ali, the member of the West Bengal’s legislative assembly holding a press conference to threaten the channel that decided to show the mega serial written by me.

In a press Conference Shahi Immam of Tipu Sultan Mosque of Kolkata Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati and All India Minority Forum president Idris Ali said on 14 December that they are opposed to the Bengali channel broadcasting serial on the controversial author’s life.

Maulana Nurur Rahman informed that he has also spoke to the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on the issue. Extolling the WB CM of being symbol of communal harmony, the Shahi Imam appealed to her to intervene and immediately stop the broadcast of the serial.

Idris Ali said that there are so many writers even within the country and we don’t necessarily need to follow the controversial Bangladeshi author.

Muhammad Kamruzzaman sent a letter on behalf of 22 Muslim organizations to the Police Commissioner of Kolkata Mr Surajit Kar Purkayashta on 13 December to stop the broadcast, which according to them would disturb the communal harmony in the state.

They have threatened to take to streets if the administration does not stop the broadcast.

The 22 Muslim organization are: 1. All Bengal Minority Youth Federation. 2 West Bengal Sunnat Al Jamat Committee. 3. Magribi Bangal Anjumane Wayezin. 4. Ulama Parishad. 5. All Bengal Muslim Think Tank. 6. Jamiat-E Ahle Hadith West Bengal. 7. West Bengal Aminia Jamiate Muttakin Committee. 8. All India Ahle Sunnat Jamat. 9. All Bengal Minority Council. 10. All Bengal Minority Association. 11. Bangiya Imam Parishad. 12. Jamiatul Ayemma Al Ulama. 13. All India Imams Council. 14. All bengal Imam-Muazzin Council. 15. West Bengal Imam-Muazzin Association. 16. All Bengal Imam Muazzin Samity. 17. Ittehadul Ayemma. 18. Maktab Imam Association. 19. Ittehadul Ayemma and Muazzin Seva Samiti. 20. Tajpur Jamaul Ayemma. 21. Biswa Manabkalyan Islami Society. 22. Jamiat-E Ulamaye Bangla, Furfura Sharif.

Now all the TV ads about the mega serial with my name and videos are censored. My name and pictures are erased from all the ads. My name is deleted from their Facebook page. The channel is probably trying hard to compromise with violent fanatics.

They are going to remove all the billboards. But will they be able to make fanatics happy? I do not think so. Fanatics will go as far they can. They know very well that nobody would come to support me in India.

These fanatics are very good friends of the government. The politicians appease Muslim fanatics because these fanatics lead a very big group of ignorant Muslims. Who doesn’t want to get Muslim votes? They are 25% of the population.

The channel is now giving a statement:

The statement says :

All characters of the serial are entirely fictional. No character of the serial is based on real people. The writer of this serial is NOT coming to Kolkata. The serial has no purpose to hurt anyone’s sentiments. It is not going to hurt sentiments of any religion or any community. It will definitely show respect to all religious communities.

The producers are trying everything to telecast the serial. Ordinary people are eager to watch it. The channel already invested a lot of money for the serial. They are now in a very bad situation. They are not getting government’s supports. All the intellectuals are silent. Many are pro-Islamist leftists, they believe I am not worthy to get their supports because I criticize Islamists. Some think it is a Muslim issue, they should not be involved. The rest are just cowards.

Bangladesh’s new secular generation celebrating the killing of a war criminal

bangladesh-war-crimes

I got abused by the secular people of Bangladesh on social network sites because I opposed the death penalty of Kader Mullah the war criminal. Many boys and girls of the new generation are confused people. They call themselves secular without knowing the meaning of the word. Many of them are against war criminals, but not against Islamism or Islamists. They hate feminism and are very fond of the death penalty. They do not know the reasons why a person is against the death penalty. They do not understand even the differences between the Islamic terrorists who are against the death penalty of a fellow Islamic terrorist and the anti-Islamists-anti-war criminals who are for the abolition of the death penalty. To the hangwarcriminal-generations, both are bad and both should be cursed.

The truth is if you want to solve problems wickedly, you would use violence against violence. If you want to make your society violence free, you would try to build a secular classless casteless equal society and give proper education to every child so no one becomes a religious fanatic. If you really believe death penalty deters crime then I don’t understand why you do not behead criminals in public like Saudi Arabia! Don’t you think it would make the death penalty more effective?

Nobody was born as a war criminal or as an Islamist. Bad teaching makes them bad people. But everybody has the right to life no matter what crimes they have committed.

The new generation read books, watch movies, theater plays, listen to poetry and music about 1971 war while growing up in Bangladesh, so their conviction against the war criminals is strong. Almost all of them believe that Islam is a religion of peace. They believe it because they haven’t learned from anywhere that Islam like other religions is not a religion of peace.

All war criminals were Islamists. They killed people during the war in 1971 in the name of Islam. They did not want to be separated from Pakistan, the Muslim nation. They believed in Muslim unity and pan-Islamism.

The number of Islamists increased today because of Islamization that started in 80’s. These new Islamists brutally slaughter secularists, atheists, anti-Islamists. These Islamic terrorists are not any less dangerous and murderous than the 71’s war criminals. Jamaat-e-Islami is a political party full of Islamic terrorists. They have been terrorizing the country since they got the opportunity to re-run their political party in late 70’s. Numerous charity organisations like Islamic banks, Islamic schools-colleges-universities, Islamic NGOs, clinics & hospitals, Islamic radios,tvs,newspapers etc. have been created by the Islamists. One of the agendas of Jamaat-e-Islami is to indoctrinate children with Islam. They follow Maududi the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami who dreamt of making the world Darul Islam. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was inspired by Maududi. Jamaat-e-Islami as a party is far more undemocratic and violent than Muslim Brotherhood.

Islamist war criminals have been trying to kill me since 1993. But I don’t want them to get killed. I want them to be better people. There are other kinds of punishment they can get. What about imprisonment? I do not believe in prison system. Prisons should be like rehabs. The cells can be like classrooms and prisons can be like universities. Hundreds of thousands of Kader Mullahs were born in Bangladesh through Islamization. How many Kader Mullahs would Bangladesh kill? It is better to stop Islamization. It is always better to secularize the state and society.

Jamaat-e-Islami has been slaughtering people after Kader Mullah was hanged. If you agree to ban terrorist organizations, you should agree to ban Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh. Let the country survive.

Fresh water lake on Mars!

Life on Mars may have existed 3.6 billion years ago. I don’t want to think of the life of Mars today. I am now thinking of the lake. NASA’s curiosity rover discovered the evidence of fresh water lake on Mars.

I celebrated the discovery of the evidence of lake today by reading Yeats.

‘I will arise and go now, and go to Mars,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.’

Fatwas. Court cases. Now an FIR against me for telling the truth.

An FIR was registered against me last night. They do not like my tweets that I posted on November 6.

LUCKNOW/KOLKATA: An FIR has been lodged against controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen for allegedly hurting religious sentiments following a complaint by a prominent Muslim cleric of Uttar Pradesh, a charge which the author said shocked her.

The case was lodged at Kotwali police station by Hasan Raza Khan Noori Miyan, son of the “sajjadanasheen” of Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat Maulana Subhan Raza Khan Subhani Miyan, who objected to certain tweets by Nasreen against clerics on November 6, police sources said here on Thursday.

In the complaint, it was alleged that with her remarks against clerics on Twitter the writer had hurt the feelings of the Muslim community.

Noori Miyan said a fatwa has been issued in the light of Hadees and Quran. It was demanded that the passport of the writer should be seized and she should be arrested.

Taslima said she was shocked to hear about the FIR as she had only spoken the truth.

“I do not know what wrong have I done with those tweets. I only spoke the truth and once again they are after me,” Taslima told PTI from New Delhi.

“I am shocked to hear this. How can this happen in a democratic country like India where the Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and expression,” wondered the 51-year-old author who was forced to flee from Bangladesh after threats from fundamentalists for hurting religious sentiments.

After Arvind Kejriwal sought support for his Aam Aadmi Party from controversial UP cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, Taslima had criticised the meeting on Twitter.

In 2007, the Maulana had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on the author’s head if New Delhi did not restrict her entry to the country.

Following violent protests over renewal of her visa later on, she was bundled out of Kolkata by the authorities to Delhi.

Noting that her freedom of speech and expression has always been in danger, the author said, “Fundamentalists do not believe in human rights and so I am never allowed to speak even the truth.”

Mr. Hasan Raza Khan Noori Miyan did not at least say that a fatwa was not issued or a price was not set on my head. He said that the fatwa was issued ‘in the light of the Hadith and the Quran’.

Here are some old fatwa-news:

Times of India.

The Hindu

DNA

Nobody is allowed to set price on anyone’s head in India. The fatwas are illegal here. It is against the Indian constitution to ask people to kill anyone in the light any damn thing.

But Noori Miyan is angry at me for me being unhappy with their fatwa. He wants me to accept the fatwa gracefully as the fatwas are based on the Hadith and the Quran.

The cleric is wrong if he claims that I am wrong, because I say he is anti-freespeech. Didn’t he already prove that he was anti-freespeech by issuing a fatwa against me in 2007? Am I a criminal because I have told the truth?

They claim I hurt religious feelings of the entire Muslim community. Did I commit a crime or hurt Muslim community by telling the truth about Tauqeer Raza Khan that he was against my free speech, and he issued a fatwa? The cleric set price on my head. I tweeted that the cleric set price on my head. They now claim that my tweet hurts their religious sentiments. Religious sentiments are very dangerous things. These sentiments go against individual freedom and plurality of thoughts — the essential parts of democracy.

The truth only hurts liars and hypocrites. All Muslims in India are not afraid of truth, nor are all of them liars, hypocrites or fundamentalists. Some are. And they always use the name of whole community for their own political interests. Should this trend be continued? Should fatwas continue to be issued, Court cases continue to be filed and FIRs continue to be registered against writers, artists, and women, specially courageous women?

No man has ever been arrested for issuing fatwas against me. Now the UP cops filed the FIR against me for criticizing the fatwa. Tauqeer raza khan, the man who set price on my head is the hero, and me the victim is booked. The world we live in is definitely the world of insane and fanatics.

FN actually said it right: “FIR against Taslima for being alive”.

Come what may, my struggle will carry on, through my writings. I shall keep on dreaming of a society free from religious fundamentalism.

Update: TOI

The case was registered against her under IPC and IT Act provisions, which relate to “deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings” on the basis of Bareilly cleric Hasan Raza Khan Noori Miyan’s complaint. A conviction under these provisions can lead to up to eight-year imprisonment. Hasan Raza Khan Noori Miyan cited one of her tweets last month in his complaint on Wednesday in which Nasreen described clerics, who go unpunished for issuing antiwomen fatwas, as criminals.

Now my question is which Government has sanctioned to make an allegation of an offence under Section 295A as it can not be made without the previous sanction of the Central Government or of the State Government?

Sweden is closing its prisons. What about a prisonless world?

sweden prison-uddevalla

Swedish prison uddevalla.

Swedish Prisons are for rehabilitation, not for punishment. Sweden is now closing its prisons, due to lack of prisoners.

The Swedish prison population has dropped by nearly a sixth since it peaked at 5,722 in 2004. In 2012, there were 4,852 people in prison in Sweden, out of a population of 9.5 million. The US has a prison population of 2,239,751, equivalent to 716 people per 100,000. China ranks second with 1,640,000 people behind bars, or 121 people per 100,000, while Russia’s inmates are 681,600, amounting to 475 individuals per 100,000. Brazilian prisons hold 548,003 citizens, 274 people per 100,000; finally, India’s prison population amounts to 385,135, with a per capita rate of just 30 inmates per 100,000 citizens.

sweden jail1

Swedish prison Sollentuna.

sweden jail 4

Swedish prison cell.

Kumla prison in Sweden

Swedish prison cell.

Sweden doesn’t have the Death Penalty, neither it has any real punishment or real prison for criminals. But Sweden has less crimes than other countries. It is because Swedish society is an equal society, there is no big gap between rich and poor, obviously Sweden is a good welfare state and needless to say that there is more equality between men and women in Sweden than most countries in the world. Sweden has been experiencing less violent crimes than before. Theft and drugs offenses still exist though.

We have learned from Sweden that if we can create equality in society, the crime rates will go down. If we can create equality in the world, there will be no crime, and there will be no prison. I am dreaming of that crimeless prisonless beautiful world.