Feminist author attacked in India

A mob of Muslim extremists assail writer Taslima Nasreen and call for her murder.

Published August 10, 2007 7:20PM (EDT)

Taslima Nasreen, an outspoken feminist author who has railed against the treatment of women under religion, particularly Islam, showed up for her book release party yesterday in Andhra Pradesh, India. A mob of Muslim extremists also showed up to combat her depiction of Islam as oppressive to women ... by throwing things at her and shouting for her death.

A crowd of 100 protesters, including a handful of Indian lawmakers, hurled a "leather case, bunches of flowers and other objects at her head and threatened her with a chair," reports Reuters. By one account she was also slapped. Others tried to protect her from the onslaught and police eventually managed to escort her to safety; she walked away with only a bruised forehead.

As well as yet another reminder that plenty of people would like her head -- quite literally. Just in March of this year an extremist Indian Muslim group offered an $11,319 reward for anyone willing to behead this "notorious woman." This is nothing new; Nasreen has been avoiding execution since 1994 when her sacrilegious prose led to calls for her death in her birthplace of Bangladesh (which forced her to flee to Sweden and later India).

It's no surprise, then, that Nasreen said the attack would not intimidate her into silence. Or, as she wrote in a poem:

I, come what may, will not be silenced.
Come what may, I will continue my fight for equality and justice without any compromise until my death.
Come what may, I will never be silenced.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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