Protests that erupted over an article by controversial writer Taslima Nasreen killed two people in the south Indian state of Karnataka on Monday. The article, translated and published in a local language newspaper, said Prophet Muhammad did not approve of wearing the burqa.
But Nasreen told Reuters that the appearance of the article was “atrocious.”
She added: “In any of my writings I have never mentioned that Prophet Muhammad was against burkha (Muslim veil).”
Read what the author who had to flee her native Bangladesh wrote in another article:
There are many views on why and how the Islamic purdah started. One view has it that Prophet Mohammed became very poor after spending all the wealth of his first wife. At that time, in Arabia, the poor had to go to the open desert and plains for relieving themselves and even their sexual needs. The Prophet’s wives too had to do the same. He had told his wives that “I give you permission to go out and carry out your natural work”. (Bukhari Hadis first volume book 4 No. 149). And this is what his wives started doing accordingly. One day, Prophet Mohammed’s disciple Uman complained to him that these women were very uncomfortable because they were instantly recognisable while relieving themselves.
Umar proposed a cover but Prophet Mohammed ignored it. Then the Prophet asked Allah for advice and he laid down the Ayat (33:59) (Bukhari Hadis Book 026 No. 5397).
This is the history of the purdah, according to the Hadis. But the question is: since Arab men too relieved themselves in the open, why didn’t Allah start the purdah for men? Clearly, Allah doesn’t treat men and women as equals, else there would be purdah for both! Men are higher than women. So women have to be made walking prisons and men can remain free birds.
This is from her website:
Inasmuch as she had become a best-selling author in Bangladesh and West Bengal in India, she managed to survive the hostility. The government, however, banned Lajja (Shame), in which she described the atrocities against Hindu minorities by Muslim fundamentalists, her main message being “Let humanism be the other name of religion.”
According to Taslima, the religious scriptures are out of time, out of place. Instead of religious laws, she maintains, what is needed is a uniform civil code that accords women equality and justice. Her views caused fourteen different political and non-political religious organizations to unite for the first time, starting violent demonstrations, calling general strikes, blocking government offices, and demanding her immediate execution by hanging.
The government, instead of taking action against the fundamentalists, turned against her. A case was filed charging that she hurt people’s religious feelings, and a non-bail-able arrest warrant was issued. Deeming prison to be an extremely unsafe place, Taslima went into hiding.
Meanwhile, this week, Danish newspaper Politiken has apologized for the 2008 cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad donning a bomb-shaped turban.