CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) _ Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party offered a big reward Wednesday for information as to the whereabouts of Taslima Nasrin, the feminist author who has been the target of death threats from Muslim extremists.
Nasrin has been in hiding since returning to her country in September after four years of self-imposed exile in Europe and the United States. She returned to care for her mother, who is dying of cancer.
``Taslima Nasrin is an infidel and it is the duty of Muslims to find her out and turn over to police,″ said Abu Taher, a member of the central committee of Jamaat-e-Islami, or Islamic Congregation party.
``No one can save the infidel from the hands of those who love Islam,″ Taher told about 2,000 cheering supporters in Chittagong, 130 miles southeast of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
He said the party was offering $2,500 _ about 10 times the average yearly income in Bangladesh _ to anyone who could find Nasrin. The reward comes in addition to the $5,000 bounty various Muslim extremist groups, including Islamic Congregation, have already placed on Nasrin’s head.
Nasrin’s troubles began in 1994 when a newspaper quoted her as saying the Koran, the Islamic holy book, should be rewritten. She denied making the comment, but admitted that she favored changes in the Islamic laws to give women in her male-dominated society more rights.
Her return sparked off new street protests by Islamic extremists and revived a civil suit accusing her of offending Islam, a crime in this predominantly Muslim country.
On Tuesday, the magistrate in the case, in a Dhaka court, refused bail and ordered her to surrender by Jan. 5. If convicted, she could be imprisoned for two years.