Fatwa Fury

Taslimanasreen returned to Bangladesh about the same time the more celebrated Salman Rushdie received a semi-reprieve from the fatwa issued against him by the long-gone Ayatollah Khomeini. These kinds of fatwas are a vicious form of controlling society, used by clerics traumatised by changes that are beyond their control. These are cowardly instruments on intolerance which cow down politicians and the bureaucracies they control.

At the moment of going to press, Taslima is still in hiding back in her home country. Having come back to Bangladesh with her father and cancer-ridden mother, she has obviously been moving from safe-house to safe-house, avoiding vigilante action. Four years ago, it was the same fanatic thought-police which hounded her out of the country. Now, after lying low during Taslima´s exile in the West, the religious extremists of Bangladesh are at it again, baying for Taslima´s blood.

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Himal Southasian