Human Rights Badasses











{August 17, 2007}   Taslima Nasrin

Feministing alerted me to Taslima Nasrin, and I’m so glad, because she’s freaking awesome.

She’s Bangladeshi, but she’s currently living in exile in India. There’s a price on her head and she has received several death threats because of her criticism of Islam. She was raised Muslim but is now an atheist, a secular humanist. About a week ago she was attacked at a book launch for her “anti-Muslim” statements. She has spoken out against the atrocities that Muslims have committed against Hindus, a minority religion there. She wants civil laws that are separate from religion and give women equal rights. For this people want her killed. Few people defended her rights while she was in Bangladesh, even though the majority are not fundamentalists. This is what I mean by badass. If I were her I probably would have just shut up a long time ago.

This is how badass she is, y’all. Her official website has a section for “Banned Books”. You can also check out her poetry there. Not only is she a writer, she’s also a physician. And Feminist of the Year in 2004 for the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Can I just say that I really love how she tackles the issue of religion being used to oppress women? I can name sexist things about all five of the world’s major religions. Hinduism is the hardest because it’s so…decentralized in its authority, from what I gather, but look up “devadasi” if you think there’s nothing anti-woman about it. Not to say that all of religion is horrible and everyone who belongs to a religion is horrible and all the ways people like to exaggerate these statements so they can get mad at me and turn this around into me being the oppressive one, but…I see sexism. And I don’t like it. And I’m glad she’s saying so, so much more eloquently than I could. I also don’t like religious fundamentalism. I think I’m going to stop even differentiating between different types of religious fundamentalists. I think when you go that far you stop worshiping your god and you start worshiping your religion. And at that point, it’s all the same, just with different names and different rules (somewhat), but the hatred, the inflexibility, the disrespect, the irrationality, that’s all the same. Plus I think it’s hilarious to group fundamentalist Christians with fundamentalist Muslims because they hate each other so much. I love seeing hateful people have the basis of their hate undermined.

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“I think when you go that far you stop worshiping your god and you start worshiping your religion. And at that point, it’s all the same”

That’s a brilliant way to put it! It is scary and sad to me how many Christians don’t realize that their god and the Muslim god are one in the same, they just worship different profits. But back to your point. Religious fundamentalists get so caught up in defending and extolling the righteousness of their own religion that they forget that they have more in common and in conflict with others. I don’t see how fundamentalist Christians differentiate their behavior from fundamentalist Muslims. You don’t think bombing an abortion clinic fits into the category of “holy war”?



Thank you!
Yeah, that’s the thing I don’t get about fundamentalists. They’re not against what the other side does, just the fact that they’re on the other side. It’s like they think other points of view are so invalid that anything they do to get people on their side or eliminate people who disagree with them is justified, because all that matters is their cause, not principles about silly things like love or respect. I wonder how they get to be that way. Everybody has a story.



retro says:

It’s a shame what happened to Bangladesh. I hope the world steps up and helps them.



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