Muslim cleric demands apology from Taslima Nasreen

Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who is in hiding in India after protests by Muslims, must apologise for her 'anti-Islamic' writings, a prominent Indian Muslim cleric said on Monday.

Muslim cleric demands apology from Taslima Nasreen
The 45-year-old writer, who fled Bangladesh in 1994, is currently living in an undisclosed location near New Delhi after leaving the eastern Indian city of Kolkata last month following protests.

Indian Muslims will 'not tolerate the infamous authoress Taslima Nasreen on the Indian soil' unless she apologised, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, chief cleric of New Delhi's 17th-century Jama Masjid mosque, said in a statement.

'India is a democratic nation and the constitution here neither does permit any citizen nor allow any foreign national to be irreverent to the tenets of any religion,' the cleric said.

'The entire responsibility of the consequences shall rest upon the government of India,' Mr Bukhari warned.

The Indian government has pledged to protect Nasreen and moved her to a safe house in New Delhi last month after the protests.

Ms Nasreen said on Friday that she would remove controversial passages from her autobiography 'Dikhandito' (Split into Two).

Muslim leaders in Kolkata warned they would keep up their protests if Ms Nasreen returned to the city.

'She wants to remove the controversial paragraphs to return to the city. No one knows what she will write in her next book,' said Mr Siddikulla Chowdhury, convenor of Milli Ittehad Parishad, an umbrella alliance of 12 Muslim groups.

The West Bengal state, where Kolkata is located, had banned 'Dikhandito' in 2003 after protests by Muslims, but a court lifted the ban in 2005.

She holds a Swedish passport but has been seeking permanent residence in Hindu-majority, but officially secular, India.

So far the government of the nation's 140-million Muslims, has only granted her six-month visa extensions.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2007, 09:38