Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen who has been living in exile since 1994 on January 23 affirmed that India was in dire need of Uniform Civil law which will help protect women’s rights. Stressing the fact that Uniform Civil Code was extremely necessary for the country, Taslima questioned the Muslim fundamentalists who were opposing it.

Taslima who has been extremely vocals about her views on freedom of expression and feminism, was speaking at at the Jaipur Literature Festival. She further said that she has drawn criticism time and again from Muslim fundamentalists every time she expressed her opinion on Islam. However, that was not the case when spoke about other religions including Hinduism or even Buddhism for that matter.

“When I or anyone else criticise Hinduism, Buddhism or other religions nothing happens. But the moment you criticise Islam, people come running after your life,” she said.

Taslima also slammed the concept of fatwas issued saying that if a certain religion has a problem with her views they could write to her or even have a conversation with her adding that there no need to issue fatwas.

“If you have a set of laws for Hindus, if Hindu women can divorce their husbands and have a say in their property, and we have seen how progressive that has been, then why are Islamic fundamentalists against a uniform civil law? Is not having a uniform civil law democratic,” Taslima claimed.

She questioned the system saying how was it democracy when the Muslim women do have the same rights. “Without serious criticism of Islam, you will not be able to make Islamic countries secular. The women will continue to suffer and be oppressed,” she added claiming that sexularism had no meaning without freedom of speech.

After escaping to Bangladesh in 1994, Nasrin who drew massive criticism for slamming misogynistic ideas spent a decade in exile in Europe and America. She returned to India in 2005 but was banished from India in 2008.