Please welcome to FreethoughtBlogs Taslima Nasreen:
For a couple of years, the Pen Club had been organizing massive demonstrations in support of freedom of expression. Various authors from Asia and Africa, almost all little known, have been brought over. Salman Rushdie was aware that I have been recently thrown out of India; there were loathsome and incredible attacks against my freedom of expression. Almost all of my books have been banned in Bangladesh, either officially or socially. Not just Bangladesh, even West Bengal banned my book and threw me out of the state. Not only that, I was kept under house arrest in Kolkata and Delhi for a long seven months during the process of banishment. Eventually, I have been ousted from India. Salman Rushdie was celebrating freedom of speech by cunningly ignoring my glowing history. He can do whatever he wants. One of his security guards wrote an unflattering book about him; he made arrangements with publishers so that the book would not see the light of the day. Yes, he is celebrating freedom of speech. He is a man, people think nothing of it when he chases after young women, even at sixty plus. Even if women have complained that Rushdie doesn’t consider them anything more than sex objects, people don’t hate him. This epitome of male chauvinism, this author has garnered immense name and fame; I am glad that I don’t have any similarities with him beyond the fatwa. To be honest, it irritates me no end to have my name joined with his.
Yet Taslima is joining our network, blogging for the first time in order to do. I’m honored and humbled and suffering from an attack of impostor syndrome. That’s been growing for a while, of course, with every activist, well-known speaker, published book author, and generally really smart, accomplished person we’ve added (and the ones you don’t know about yet whom we intend to add).
I’ll get over it. Even a network of activists needs some people who talk mostly about other things, who remind us that most of us are active on the small scale instead of the large one. And in the meantime, I have plenty to read to inspire me to that next level. Now you do too.