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BOUNTY offered by an extremist Islamist group in India for the beheading of prominent Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who lives in exile in India, has the country’s 150million Muslims in uproar.
The 45-year-old feminist and human rights activist has been trying to get permission to stay in India permanently, and was not available yesterday to comment on the fatwa.
Nasreen has been the target of Islamic fundamentalist anger since speaking in favour of equal rights for women and expressing opposition to the oppression of non-Islamic minorities in Islamic societies. She has also called for a revision of the Koran.
Two years ago, an Indian Muslim cleric offered a reward toanyone who “blackened” herface
The president of the All India Ibtehad Council, Taqi Raza Khan, said he had declared the reward for anyone who carried out the “quatal” or “extermination” of the “notorious woman.”

“Taslima has put Muslims to shame in her writing. She should be killed and beheaded and anyone who does this will get a reward from the council,” he said in a statement received in Lucknow, capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state.

The council, based in the Uttar Pradesh town of Bareilly, is a splinter group of the influential All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Khan said the only way the bounty would be lifted was if Nasreen “apologises, burns her books and leaves.”

The bounty was not a fatwa as Khan, while a cleric, is not senior enough to issue Islamic decrees.

But it drew swift condemnation from one of south Asia’s most powerful Muslim seminaries.

The clergy of the Sunni seminary Dar-ul Uloom in Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, a state with a large Muslim population, said the call to behead Nasreen was “un-Islamic” and that clergy should not issue such “fatwas

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