Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bangladeshi College Teacher Arrested For Blasphemy Over Banned Taslima Nasrin Book

It doesn't take much to land you in jail in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

DHAKA, Bangladesh: A news report says the head teacher of a college in southern Bangladesh has been arrested after a book considered blasphemous by some Muslims was found in the school’s library.

The Prothom Alo newspaper said Wednesday that S.M. Yunus Ali was arrested for possessing the novel “Lajja,” or “Shame,” written by exiled writer Taslima Nasrin.

It said Ali, head teacher at the K.C. Technical and Business Management College, denied having the book and said he was the victim of a conspiracy.

Taslima Nasrin (Nasreen) is a Bangladeshi ex-medical doctor, human rights activist, poet and author with a death fatwa on her head. She has been living in exile since shortly after her book "Lajja" ( Shame: A Novel) was banned in 1993 for daring to criticize the 'atrocities' being perpetrated against the Hindu minority. A secular Muslim, now Atheist, she is a fierce advocate for gender equality and secular humanism.

Yunus Ali is lucky he lives in Bangladesh and not neighbouring Pakistan because all he faces in Bangladesh is jail time, if the fundamentalists don't get to him beforehand. In Pakistan he'd get the death penalty because God forbid anyone's feelings should be hurt by the ownership of a banned book in a library.

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