Monday, August 4, 2008

“Taslima must not be allowed to return”

Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: Syed Mohammad Noorur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid here, said on Friday that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Steel Ram Vilas Paswan considered Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen’s return to India a serious threat to the country’s secularism.

“The Ministers acknowledged that the provocative text of the controversial Bangladeshi writer insulted not only Islam, but also people belonging to other religions,” the Imam claimed.
“Chances of Taslima’s coming back to India are slim as people who are secular and respect all religions will not allow it,” he said. “We will launch a massive campaign if she tries to return back by any chance.”

The Imam had previously issued a fatwa against Taslima in August 2007 to leave the country. She was forced to leave the city, where she was residing after being exiled from Bangladesh, on November 22, 2007 following widespread violence by All India Minorities Forum supporters demanding the cancellation of her visa. Taslima is now in Europe and recently expressed hope of returning to India.

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