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Throw Taslima out, Muslim leaders tell govt

This is for the first time that Muslim organisations have spelt out their stand since the controversy erupted, reports Nagendar Sharma.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2008 01:39 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times

Seven top Muslim religious organisations have asked the central government not to extend the visa of controversial Bangladeshi writer, Taslima Nasreen, and have decided to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking strict action against her for hurting the religious sentiments of Indians.

This is for the first time that Muslim organisations have spelt out their stand since the controversy erupted in November when protests in Kolkata were organized by groups close to the Left Front government in West Bengal.

In a meeting on Tuesday, attended by leaders of the seven organisations, including Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Jamiat-e-Ulama Hind, the Muslim leaders said Taslima had no right to stay in India. “She has been consistently writing against different religions in India. Taslima has shown disrespect to the country and we feel she is dangerous for humanity. It is time for the Centre to take a concrete action,” secretary of Jamiat-e-Ulama, Maulana Abdul Hameed Noomani told HT.

He said the other organisations, whose representatives could not attend the meeting have supported the demand for removal of objectionable portions from Taslima’s book Dwikhandito. Noomani charged the Bangladeshi writer with undermining Islam and Hinduism, while expressing surprise at the BJP for supporting her, saying “their stand was beyond reasonable understanding”.

A delegation of Muslim leaders led by Jamiat-e-Ulama leader and MP, Mahmood Madani would meet the prime minister to demand refusal of Taslima’s appeals for citizenship and visa extension. The organisation’s political secretary, Mujtaba Farooq said an all-religion meeting is being convened on January 16 to inform all leaders about the controversial writer’s attitude towards religions practiced in India.

Interestingly the meeting preceded Information and Broadcasting Minister, Priya Ranjan Das Munshi’s statement in Kolkata on Tuesday that Taslima should apologise to the country’s Muslims for hurting their sentiments, while hinting that her book Dwikhandito could be banned in the country. However, it was not clear whether the minister’s statement was a follow-up to the meeting.

Meanwhile, Nasreen continues to be in a ‘safe house’ in the national capital region (NCR), cut-off from the outside world. She was shifted out of Kolkata on 22 November following a violent protest by Muslim groups.