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'Help me to defend my rights'

IN THE preface to her novel, 'Lajja' (Shame), Taslima Nasrin urged readers to help her fight Muslim fundamentalism:

I detest fundamentalism and communalism. A fatwa (edict) was issued against me by a fundamentalist organisation and a reward was offered for my death. There have been marches . . . by communalists clamouring for my life. But none of these things have shaken my determination to continue the battle against religious persecution, genocide and communalism.

The mullahs who would murder me will kill everything progressive in Bangladesh if they are allowed to prevail. It is my duty to try to protect my beautiful country from them and I call on all those who share my values to help me defend my rights . . . religious fundamentalism is not restricted to Bangladesh alone, and it must be fought at every turn . . . the only way the fundamentalist forces can be stopped is if all of us who are secular and humanistic join together and fight their malignant influence.

I, for one, will not be silenced.