Kolkata's clerics threaten Taslima Nasreen
KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Muslim clerics in Kolkata issued a "death warrant" against controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen on Friday, threatening her life if she did not leave the country where she lives in exile.
The threat came after a meeting of dozens of clerics from prominent mosques in Kolkata - where the writer lives - who said she had invited their wrath through her "repeated criticism" of Islam in her books and speeches.
While one prominent cleric said Nasreen had a month to leave, another said she had 15 days. Anyone who killed her would get a cash reward of 100,000 rupees ($2,400), they said.
"Anyone who executes the warrant will also be given additional rewards," said Nurur Rehman Barkati, a cleric of one of the biggest mosques in Kolkata.
The move by the clerics came a week after Nasreen was attacked by radical Muslims in Hyderabad during the launch of a translation of one of her novels.
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.
At the time, thousands of radical Muslims protested against her, demanding that she be killed for blasphemy.
Police said they had stepped up security around Nasreen's house in Kolkata after the clerics' announcement.
Nasreen said their illegal order destroyed India's secular image. "I have never hurt religious sentiments and strongly believe in freedom of speech," she told Reuters. "I am not afraid of death, but I am saddened by the turn of events."
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- UPDATE 3-Pizza chain Sbarro files for bankruptcy protection
- Northern California unscathed by 6.8 offshore quake
- UPDATE 2-Snowden: Proposed NSA reforms vindicate my data leaks
- Evidence so far does not point to attack on Malaysian plane - sources
- Allianz lead insurer and Willis broker for Malaysia Airlines
The disappearance of a Malaysia airliner about an hour into a flight to Beijing is an "unprecedented mystery", the civil aviation chief said on Monday, as a massive air and sea search now in its third day failed to find any trace of the plane or 239 people on board. Article
U.S. lawmakers urge Pentagon to allow Sikhs leeway in military attire. Full Article