Great Bullies of History

Don’t forget, there is no compulsion in religion.

Lawmakers and members of a political party assaulted the exiled feminist author as she presented a translation of one of her novels in Hyderabad…Many Muslims have accused Ms Nasreen of ridiculing Islam…About 100 protesters, including three lawmakers, from the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party burst in, shouting that the author was “anti-Islam”. Ms Nasreen backed into a corner as objects rained down and she was threatened with a chair, witnesses said.

There is no compulsion in religion, but if an author is ‘anti-Islam,’ then men will throw things at her and offer to beat her with a chair, on the grounds that there is no compulsion in religion.

It’s quite understandable, of course, because people get incensed when someone is ‘anti-Islam.’

Muslim protesters assaulted the exiled Bangladeshi author and feminist Taslima Nasreen at a book launch in Hyderabad on Thursday, incensed by her repeated criticism of Islam and religion in general. Some radical Muslims hate Nasreen for saying Islam and other religions oppress women…On Thursday, lawmakers and members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party attacked her at the press club in Hyderabad…An uneasy-looking Nasreen backed into a corner as several middle-aged men threw a leather case, bunches of flowers and other objects at her head and threatened her with a chair…Some of the mob shouted for her death.

That’s a pleasant mental picture, isn’t it? An ‘uneasy-looking’ woman (very brave of her to look merely uneasy – I would have been squalling in terror) backed into a corner by a lot of middle-aged men throwing heavy objects at her head and threatening her with a chair. And these are ‘lawmakers’! Lawmakers reminiscent of the great Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina who approached Senator Charles Sumner while he was pinned at a desk and unable to escape and beat him over the head with a walking stick. That kind of ‘lawmaker’ – and that kind of brave man. Brave, pious, devout, holy, ‘good’ men ganging up and assaulting one woman because they dislike what she has written, and her desire for women’s rights. Women don’t matter, principles about not ganging up on people and not assaulting people don’t matter, principles about law and equal rights and peaceful discussion and justice don’t matter, all that matters is ‘Islam’ and taboos against disagreeing with what some pack of bullies think it is.

11 Responses to “Great Bullies of History”