Feminist Writer Ordered to Surrender in Bangladesh

A Bangladesh court ordered feminist writer Taslima Nasreen to surrender to a national court by January 5 for charges of blaspheming Islam.

Nasreen was forced to flee her country in 1994 due to death threats issued because of her feminist writing. Her writing, deemed “anti-Muslim” by some, also prompted a lawsuit filed against Nasreen by Zainal Abedin Babul, a devout Moslem who was insulted by Nasreen’s book Nirbachito Kolum.

Islamic extremists began to target Nasreen after a newspaper quoted her as saying that the Koran (Islamic holy book), should be rewritten. Nasreen denied saying anything of the sort, but stated that she encourages change to Islamic laws that deny women equal rights.

Nasreen has been in hiding since she left Bangladesh in 1994. She just recently returned to care for her mother, who is dying of colon cancer. “I’m greatly disappointed by the court’s ruling. I want freedom to take care of my ailing mother,” Nasreen, 36, reported while in hiding.

Police have not yet been able to locate her.


AP - November 3, 1998

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