Author Taslima Nasreen Assaulted by Muslim Lawmakers

Posted on August 10, 2007

Cover of Shame by Taslima Nasreen

Fatwas and death threats aren't just for bestselling author Salman Rushdie. Reuters reports that Feminist and Muslim author Taslima Nasreen was attacked by Muslim protesters at a book launch in Hyderabad Thursday. The protesters despise Taslima for daring to say the Islam represses the rights of women.
An uneasy-looking Nasreen backed into a corner as several middle-aged men threw a leather case, bunches of flowers and other objects at her head and threatened her with a chair, according to a Reuters witness and television pictures. Some of the mob shouted for her death. Other men tried to shield her and catch the projectiles. She ended up with a bruised forehead, and described the attack as barbaric before being taken to safety by police.

Nasreen fled Bangladesh for the first time in 1994 when a court said she had "deliberately and maliciously" hurt Muslims' religious feelings with her Bengali-language novel "Lajja", or "Shame", which is about riots between Muslims and Hindus.
Reuters also notes that a Muslim cleric offered a monetary reward in 2004 for "anyone who was able to successfully humiliate Nasreen by blackening her face with shoe polish or ink or by garlanding her with shoes."

This kind of censorship and intolerance makes us sick. Turkey repeatedly jails authors for "insulting Turkishness" and the death fatwas have been re-issued against Salman Rushdie after he was knighted by the Queen of England. She was awarded the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought in 1994 by the European Parliament.

If you'd like to irritate her attackers, buy her book, Shame, which is available at

Photo: Prometheus Books