India To Charge Writer Nasreen With ‘Hurting Muslim Feelings’

Canadian Broadcasting Company, August 14, 2007 | 2:04 PM ETv

Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen will face criminal charges in India after being accused of stirring up religious enmity.

The charges come after Nasreen was attacked at a publication party because of opposition to a translation of her latest book, Shodh, in Hyderabad last week. Several lawmakers and members of a conservative Muslim political party threw flowers and other items at her and called for her death.

Nasreen, author of Wild Wind and Shame, is an exile from her native Bangladesh because of a fatwa against her and a threat by the government to lay charges stemming from her writing.

She lived in Sweden and France for several years, but moved to India in 2002.

In articles and books, she writes about the poor treatment of Hindus in mostly Muslim Bangladesh, and rape and mistreatment of women in Muslim societies. A police official in Hyderabad said Nasreen had been charged with “hurting Muslim feelings,” according to Agence France Presse.

Under Indian law, promoting “disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will” between religious groups is punishable by up to three years in jail.

Three legislators were charged with rioting after a police investigation into the incident at the publication party.

However, a senior member of an Islamist party registered a complaint, leading to the charges.

Nasreen has been an outspoken advocate of women’s rights and opponent of sharia law.

In March, an Indian Muslim group from Uttar Pradesh state offered a bounty of 500,000 rupees ($13,000 Cdn) for her beheading.

However, human rights groups in India are arguing on her behalf.

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