Taslima Nasrin

Author, secular humanist, feminist

Taslima Nasrin (born 25 August 1962) is a Bangladeshi-Swedish writer, physician, feminist, secular humanist, and activist. She is known for her writing on women's oppression and criticism of religion.

Taslima Nasrin (2010)
Every ban and censorship hurt. But banishment hurts the most.


  • They defend rapists. Mamata di says ‘sometimes boys become naughty.’ Mulayam ji says ‘sometimes boys make mistakes’.
    • — taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) April 10, 2014 [1]
  • Do you really think a God who created the universe, billions of galaxies, stars, billions of planets- would promise to reward some little things in a pale blue dot (i.e Earth) for repeatedly saying that he is the greatest and kindest and for fasting? Such a great creator can't be so narcissist!
  • Religion is against women's rights and women's freedom. In all societies women are oppressed by all religions.
  • The Islam religion and their scriptures are out of place and out of time. It still follows the 7th century laws and is hopeless. The need of the hour is not reformation but revolution.
  • Every ban and censorship hurt. But banishment hurts the most. Banishment took away the ground from beneath my feet. What I need now most is a firm footing to stand up somewhere to fight for the freedom of expression. I was banished from both East and West Bengal.
    • Taslima Nasrin, Inteview with Firstpost, [2] (2016)
  • Many of my books are banned in Bangladesh. My book was banned in West Bengal too. Its government not only banned my book, it forced me to leave the state too. The new government ban­ned the release of my book Nir­basan in 2012 and a few months ago forced a TV channel called Akash Ath to stop telecast of a mega serial I wrote. The serial was about women’s struggle and how three sisters living in Calcutta fight aga­inst patriarchal oppression to live their lives with dignity and honour. She (Mamata Banerjee) ban­ned me to app­ease some misogynist mullahs.
    • Taslima Nasrin, quoted in Outlook India, [3]
  • Politicians are all on the same platform when it comes down to me. I think it’s because they think that if they can satisfy the Muslim fundamentalists they will get votes. I believe I am a victim of votebank politics. This also shows that how weak the democracy is and politicians ask votes by banning a writer ... Even though I am not staying there, she (Banerjee) has not allowed my book ‘Nirbasan’ to be published. Also, she has stopped the broadcast of a TV serial scripted by me after Muslim fundamentalists objected to it. She is not allowing me to enter the state… This is a dangerous opposition ... I wrote to Mamata Banerjee. But there was no response to that… No I am not going to write to her again. I do not think she will consider my request. I feel very hopeless because I expected something positive. I think when it comes down to me, she has similar vision like that of the Left leaders.... I do not consider India as a foreign country. The history of this country is my history. It’s the country of my forefathers. I love this country and in Kolkata, I feel at home because I can relate that place to my homeland. ... I have sacrificed my freedom and have been sacrificing for a big cause… All these (problems) are because of my writings. I could have stopped writing against fundamentalists and possibly the bans would have been removed and I had got back my freedom and allowed to enter my motherland again. But I will never do that. ... I have spoken of humanism and equal rights for women and secularism stating that religion and nation should be treated separately. One should not get confused with nation and religion. Rules should be made based on equality, and not on religion. ... I know that only by writing I will not be able to change an entire society. The laws need to be changed. Equal rights cannot be established in a short time, it requires a long time and huge efforts ... I have got many awards but the best is when people come forward and tell me that my writings have help them change their vision,... I do not think I would have been treated in the same manner if I was born there (Europe). I am a writer, not an activist... I write with a pen and if you have any problem why do not you pick up a pen to protest.... The surprising thing in this part of the world is that they have picked up arms against me because I have expressed my views. I have never enforced my thoughts on anybody ever, then why they are trying to kill me. I am not a supporter of violence.
  • “The producer and director were developing my story to a mega series. They had shot around 100 episodes after which the ban was imposed. The Muslim fanatics in Bengal, supported by the ruling Trinamool Congress played havoc when the serial was to be aired. The chief minister was instrumental in imposing the ban. It is interesting to see that the same person (Mamata Bangerjee) is now advocating for freedom of expression and calling it super emergency,” “This is sheer double standard..... If some people do not like a representation of art, there are other ways to counter it. I never support violent attack on artistic freedom. I also do not support the trend of issuing fatwa. But, there are politicians, who support or protest on the basis of religion. Why are rules being tweaked for one particular community in Bengal? Why did Mamata Banerjee’s government never allow me to work there, allow my books to be published? Freedom of expression, the most important character of a democracy, is always under attack for vested political interest. Nobody criticises things neutrally,”
  • I have told the story of a progressive, educated, Hindu family of this country in Lajja. The family falls victim to communal violence, where a rationalist and atheist young man gradually transforms into a staunch Hindu, becomes a fundamentalist and gets destroyed in the process. The state destroys him, the government destroys him and gradually mushrooming religious fanaticism destroys him. He is defeated. Many young men in this country are transforming from human beings to Hindus. They are being repeatedly victimized by the state, in educational institutions, workplaces, business and trade, all because of religious discrimination. They are being labelled second-class citizens. Why should I not speak the truth? The truth will always be valued. The ones who make a truth controversial, the fault lies with them and not with the truth. And the ones who blame the truth support the actions of the miscreants. The Hindus getting into trouble here is a bad excuse. Those who like to stay silent for the sake of convenience are responsible for eroding human strength and courage. They are cowards and exploiters. They are the biggest threats to all minority communities. They believe if you point out a wrong it will lead to trouble. The same argument works for the Muslims there.
    • Nāsarina, T., & Chakraborty, M. (2018). Split: A life.
  • Lajja is a humanist appeal so that unpleasant things don’t happen any more. So that people can manage to coexist in mutual respect and to help religion truly embrace humanity.
    • Nāsarina, T., & Chakraborty, M. (2018). Split: A life.
  • [Women in Islamic countries] are exposed to male domination as a rule rather than as an exception... If anyone protests... as I have done, you are sure to be branded as a witch... What I demand is freedom for women from male domination and a uniform code... It that can be construed as blasphemy, I cannot help it.
    • Quoted from Ram Swarup, Woman in Islam, 2000
  • Writer-activist Taslima Nasreen reminded the world with her article ‘A sign of hope — Bengali Muslims are finally protesting Mamata’s appeasement politics’ in the Print , on 29 June 2009, that even during the rule of the Left, minority appeasement was a given: ‘Imam Barkati of the Tipu Sultan mosque had issued a fatwa against me in broad daylight at a public meeting in Dharamtala (on 10 June 2006), in the heart of the city of Kolkata. He had put a price on my head – for anyone who would murder me. There had been many police officers at that meeting that day, but let alone arresting the imam, no one even questioned why he did something that was ostensibly against the laws of the country. Rather, I remember the police providing him with security and then CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and his ministers showering him with favours.’
    • Quoted from HALDER, DEEP. 2021. BENGAL 2021: an election diary. [S.l.]: HARPERCOLLINS INDIA.
  • Facebook banned me.I'm not allowed to post/comment for 7days. My posts,fb claimed, didn't follow their community standard.Actually fb banned me because of jihadis report. My posts don't follow Jihadis' community standard.When did fb & jihadis community standards become the same?
  • Facebook has banned me for writing Islamists destroyed Bangladeshi Hindu houses & temples believing that Hindus placed Quran on Hanuman's thigh.
    • Tweet on twitter [4] 2021


  • It is disgraceful that the Hindus in my country were hunted by the Muslims after the destruction of the Babri Masjid. All of us who love Bangladesh should feel ashamed that such a terrible thing ‘could happen in our beautiful country. The riots that took place in 1992 in Bangladesh are the responsibility of us all, and we are all to blame.
    • Preface
  • Lajja was published in February 1993 in Bangladesh and sold over 60,000 copies before it was banned by the government five months later—their excuse was that it was disturbing the communal peace. In September that year a fatwa was issued against me by a fundamentalist organization and a reward was offered for my death, There have been marches on the streets of Dhaka 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.
    • Preface
  • ‘Riots break out in all countries. Aren’t there riots in India? Aren’t people dying there? Have you kept track of the number of people who've died?”
    “If it were riots I'd understand, Baba. These aren’t riots. It is simply a case of Muslims killing Hindus.’
    • Day Twelve, 213
  • A mute question thumped inside Suranjan’s heart. It was almost dawn and through the cracks in the window, sunlight streamed in. Sudhamoy said, ‘Come, let us go away.’
    Suranjan could not conceal his surprise. ‘Where will we go, Baba?’ he asked.
    Sudhamoy said, ‘India.’
    And his voice cracked as the shame swept over him. But he had said it, he had forced it out, he had compelled himself to say that they would go; and he had realized that that was the way it would have to be because the strong mountain that he had built within himself was crumbling day by day.
    • Day Thirteen, 216

About Taslima Nasrin

  • With its extreme dependence on foreign aid, Bangladesh is understandably concerned about not offending Western sensibilities too much., Its government did not insist on implementing the prison sentence pronounced by a court against feminist author Taslima Nasrin for her 1994 book Shame, much less the death sentence pronounced by individual Muftis. Instead it preferred to send her into exile and be rid of the whole controversy. Her latest book, Wild Wind, is the object of yet another ban by the Islamist-leaning government of Khaleda Zia, the reason given being that it “destroys the socio-political amity of the country” and “contains anti-Islamic statements.”
    • Koenraad Elst: Afterword: The Rushdie Affair's Legacy, in Pipes, D., & Elst, K. (2004). The Rushdie affair: The novel, the Ayatollah, and the West. New Brunswick [u.a.: Transaction Publ.
  • In the reviews of Taslima Nasreen's book Lajja, practically all commentators have ignored her description of the atrocities on Hindus. Many of them falsely attributed the death sentence pronounced against her by a Mufti to her feminism, when in fact it was her drawing attention to the plight of the infidel Hindus which earned her the deadly wrath of the Islamic fanatics. These commentators demonstrated on a world-wide sclae the determined denial to the Hindus of even their martyrs.
    • Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". p 811
  • We have praised Taslima for speaking for Muslim women who do not have many spokesmen in the Muslim world. But her real glory is that she has also spoken for the persecuted Hindus in her country - for whom no one speaks, not even the Hindus.
    • Ram Swarup, Woman in Islam, 2000. Ram Swarup, Woman in Islam, 2000 . page viii , Preface
  • A news item from Dhaka says that "A radical Muslim priest has offered love and marriage to Bangladesh's most controversial feminist writer, Taslima Nasreen, in order to bring her to the faith". "She will be my third wife," said Mr. Rahim Baksh, an Islamic cleric in Cox's Bazar town in southeastern Bangladesh.
    • Rahim Baksh, Times of India Briefs, New Delhi, 22.11.93. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6
  • Taslima Nasreen is known as a heretic in orthodox Islamic circles. She has been a vocal advocate of human rights, especially the rights of the women in Islam. However, she has paid dearly for speaking out the truth. There are still many fatwas against her calling for her killing. She is living a life of self-exile outside her native country of Bangladesh since 1994.
    • Tiwari, D. P., ,. (2019). The great indian conspiracy. London : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.
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