‘Permit’ move to Taslima hurts Muslims

The Muslim community in West Bengal has come down severely on the BJP-led Centre for granting a residential visa to controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. Ms Nasreen earlier told the press that the Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday promised to extend usual 'resident permit' to her, a move being criticised by Muslims.

Claiming that the Centre had hurt the Muslim population’s sentiments with this decision, All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) MP Idris Ali told the media, Ms. Nasreen has gained popularity only by criticising Prophet Mohammed and writing offensive things about the Islamic religion. Granting her visa would mean encouraging divisive politics in the country, he said.

Lauding West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for respecting the Muslims’ sentiments, AITMC MP Sultan Mohammed said in a statement: “Ms. Banerjee has not permitted Ms. Nasreen to enter Bengal for the past three years. Bengal is the land of Kazi Nazrul and Rabindranath Tagore, there is no place for people like Ms. Nasreen. While Ms. Banerjee upheld her Constitutional rights, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to do so.”

Ms. Nasreen’s books have been banned in the State and her participation at the annual Kolkata Book Fair earlier this year was not given permission.

Many eminent faces of the city’s Muslim community pointed fingers at the BJP and said the Centre had failed to protect the interests of the minorities.

“The Centre is responsible of protecting the interests of every citizen in this country. Therefore, the Centre should not have granted residential visa to person who writes for cheap publicity and hurts the religious feelings of a minority. We condemn the Centre’s decision and appeal for a rethink on the same,” general secretary of the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation Md. Qamruzzaman said.

Allowing Ms. Nasreen to stay in the country means the BJP does not respect Muslims living in the country, said the religious head of the city’s Tipu Sultan mosque Nurul Rahman Barkati. Mirroring his thoughts, head cleric of the city’s Nakhoda mosque Moulana Muhammad Shafiq Qasemi said he would appeal to Mr. Modi to cancel her visa.

With a sizeable population of Muslims living in the city, who forced the exiled author to leave the State in 2007, it is expected that the Centre’s warming up to Ms. Nasreen would not go down well.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 7:51:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/%E2%80%98Permit%E2%80%99-move-to-Taslima-hurts-Muslims/article11187811.ece

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