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Exile By Taslima Nasrin (Excerpts)
Ms. Taslima Nasrin has written a lot about her life spent in Bangladesh...
Jan 2017

Ms. Taslima Nasrin has written a lot about her life spent in Bangladesh, India and in European countries including the United States.  A few thing that emerge from her writings are: an intense desire to go back to her place of birth Bangladesh and to settle for good in Kolkata.  Both these wishes have been denied to her so far. The main reason cited for the refusal is that she has written against Islam and the Prophet of Islam. Muslims in Bangladesh and India would not like her staying in either country. She has been, according to her own statement made in the latest book, Exile (2016) under house arrest ever since she came to India. In this context, read what former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, has written to Madanjeet Singh that whatever was done while she was in India was dictated by the necessity to ensure her safety and security.

The book has now been published in 2016 though it was slated to be launched in 2011. Political masters in West Bengal did not want their vote bank to be annoyed. Dr. Manmohan Singh Government came to power in 2004 and during his tenure the policy was MUSLIMS FIRST.  Therefore, there was no question of any anti-Muslim literature getting the approval of the Central government.  In this case, the political interest of the Centre and the State of West Bengal coincided.  The fate of the book was sealed.

Given below are a few excerpts from the book;
The terrorists at the Dhaka cafe were around twenty years old. They were not poor, not illiterate. Heavily indoctrinated in Islam, they shouted 'Allahu Akbar' while slaughtering people. Those who could recite a verse from the spared uran while others were tortured and hacked to death with machetes. Those terrorists had nothing but religion as their guide. Young men have been brainwashed with Islam, at home, madrasas and mosques. They have been fed the belief that non-believers, non-Muslims and critics of Islam should be exterminated. By killing them, they have been convinced, they will go to heaven. They have also been taught that jihad is mandatory for every Muslim and Muslims should strive to turn Dar-ul-Harb (the Land of the Enemy) into Dar-ul-Islam (the Land of Islam). …

There is no point trying to confuse the issue by saying that poverty, frustration, lack of jobs and the absence of hope force people to become terrorists. It is, in fact, the other way around. The new terrorists are often rich and literate, highly qualified professionals, who have been seduced by fanaticism. They join ISIS because they know they will be at liberty to do whatever they wish to, and be given the sanction to rape, kill and torture at will. Many organizations and institutions in Bangladesh have been funded by Islamic fundamentalists from rich Arab countries for decades. Madrasas and mosques have long been breeding grounds for Islamic fundamentalists. Islamization in Bangladesh started not long after its creation in 1971. It is tragic that Bangladesh, whose very birth was premised on secularism and a rejection of the two-nation theory, has degenerated into an Islamic fundamentalist country. The government must own up to an administrative failure to foresee and contain the rise of fanaticism.

In the early 1990s, when I was attacked by Islamic fundamentalists, a fatwa was issued against me, a price set on my head, and hundreds of thousands of Muslim fundamentalists took to the streets demanding my execution; meanwhile, the intellectuals remained silent. The government, instead of cracking down on the fundamentalists, filed a case against me on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of people. I was forced to leave the country and that was the beginning of what today's Bangladesh is a medieval and intolerant nation of bigots, extremists and fanatics. Without allowing criticism of Islam, it will be difficult for Muslim countries to separate the State and religion, to make personal laws based on equality, or to have a secular education system. If this does not happen, Muslim countries will forever remain in darkness, breeding and training people indoctrinated by religion to not tolerate any differences, and where women will never enjoy the right to live as complete human beings. People like to believe that Islam is a religion of peace. I, however, have witnessed the opposite since my childhood. The time has come for people to unequivocally tell the truth and be willing to listen to it too. Islam and Islamic fundamentalism don't have too many differences; Islam isn't compatible with democracy, human rights, women's rights, freedom of expression. You will not be able to kill terrorism by killing terrorists. You have to kill its root cause. You have to stop brainwashing children with religion. In the present scenario, a call for sanity and introspection is as good as a cry in the wilderness. This must end. The good and the sensible must break their silence; the inaction of the good is the asset of the malevolent.


April 2017


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