Bangladeshi Author Faces Criminal Charges After Last Week's Attack


Thirteen years after she fled her native Bangladesh when thousands of Muslims threatened to kill her for blasphemy, author Taslima Nasrin is being charged with "hurting Muslim feelings," the New York Times reports. The charge follows an attack last week at a book party for Nasrin's novel Shodh (Getting Even), during which dozens of protesters shouted slogans describing the author as "anti-Muslim" and "anti-Islam." They threw chairs, overturned tables, and, according to a report last week in the Guardian in London, Nasrin was slapped. She escaped unhurt but told reports she was in shock.

The protesters were members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party and included a senior party member who claimed Nasrin made disparaging remarks about Islam, which led to her being charged. If convicted, Nasrin could face up to three years in jail.

Nasrin fled Bangladesh in 1994 when she received death threats after remarking that the Qur'an must be changed to give women greater rights. That same year she received the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.