The Perils of Free Speech
- Taslima Nasrin: Her Life.
- Taslima Nasrin's Lecture (transcription)
- Questions and Answers.
- Postface: Human Rights Violations by Islamic Fundamentalists
Taslima Nasrin was born on August 25, 1962 in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, from a medical doctor and his wife, both devout Muslims. She got an MBBS degree at the Mymensingh Medical College, and practiced as an anesthesiologist in a government clinic for a few years. She got married three times. She is a self-proclaimed Marxist and atheist. She began her literary career by publishing poetry, and later started writing a newspaper column in Bangladesh, as well as novels and essays. Taslima Nasrin received the prize Mananda Puruskar, Calcutta (1992) and the Natosabha Puruskar, Dhaka (1993).
Nasrin's name first appeared in international headlines in 1993 when her best-selling novel Lajja (Shame) (50,000 copies), was banned by the Bangladeshi governement on the grounds that its "inflammatory" tone had provoked tension between Muslims and Hindus. Street demonstrations by Islamic fundamentalists against Nasrin became an almost daily occurrence in Dhaka in 1994. They flailed bamboo clubs, iron pipes, and machetes in the air. Once, a number of the marchers had pythons and cobras coiled around their necks, and threatened to release ten thousand snakes in the streets of Dhaka if Taslima Nasrin were not publicly hanged. Under a death threat from them, she went into voluntary exile in Sweden on August 10, 1994. She has been in hiding for months. She resides in Germany now. Muslim fundamentalists had become infuriated with a newspaper article she wrote calling for a revision of the Koran. Militant groups offered a US $ 1,250 reward for her death. Nasrin has been accused of having offended the religious sentiments of Muslims. Nasrin says she was misquoted, but adds that changes should be made in the strict rules that forbid many women in Bangladesh any activity outside the home. She has written more than sixteen outspoken and often sexually explicit books. In 1995 she won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
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