Muslim women suffers due to Shariat:Taslima

published on August 22, 2006

Thiruvananthapuram: Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen today said a secular state should have a uniform civil code to ensure justice to all sections of people.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme here, Nasreen said Muslim fundamentalists should not be treated as representative of the Muslim community. “The code should be based on equality and justice and not on religion,” she said adding that the biggest tragedy of mankind was that morality has been hijacked by religion.

She claimed most of the Islamic laws were based on inequality. “Democracy means democracy for everybody. States should guarantee equal rights for everyone without considering their religious beliefs,” Nasreen said.

To a question whether her argument for uniform civil code would lend credence to the demand of Hindu organisations in
India, she asked “if Hindu organisations do some good things why should I oppose them?”

Nasreen said she had been fighting religious fundamentalists for a long time. She had used her writing as a means to protest against fundamentalism, extremism and obscurantism. “I want to make people conscious about their rights and freedom.People should be made aware of secular ideals to fight fundamentalism .”

Nasreen said she had seen how Muslim women suffered because of religious laws. “Though I did get an opportunity for education, millions of others did not get access to education, economic freedom and were oppressed under religion.


The writer said she did not get enough support from women in the community in the fight against religious laws that oppressed women. “Believing in religion is a personal matter. The state should keep itself away from it. Democracy and religious laws cannot co-exist and I am for separation of religion and state,” she said.


Nasreen, who had been living in exile for the past 12 years, said she had hoped that the situation in Bangladesh would change and she would be able to return home.

“But fundamentalism is growing worse in
Bangladesh. Muslim fundamentalists have issued a fatwa against me and have put a price on my head,” she said.

Nasreen said if she got adequate security, she would love to be back in her country. “Otherwise, I would like to be in
India, especially in West Bengal where I can speak my language,” she said.

The writer said she had dream of a beautiful, secular world where no woman would be oppressed. Religion was incompatible with human rights and democracy. “Religion has problems about women talking about their rights. Right from my childhood, I had been fighting against this. Nobody told me to protest. It was inside me,” she said.

Children who were not being given good education were being lured by fundamentalists into `jihad’ or Holy War. Terming it as `kind of stupidity,’ she said “it is not their fault that they learn about holy war. They are brainwashed.”

Nasreen described Kerala as a wonderful, green state with wonderful people. “I would feel good if I could move around without security,” she said.

The writer is here in connection with the release of the Malayalam translation of four of her works. The function is to be held in Thrissur on August 24.



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