Ulema reacts diplomatically on extending Taslima's visa

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Deoband, Feb 15 (UNI) In a mild reaction to the Centre's decision of extending the visa of controversial Bangladesh's writer Taslima Nasreen, the Ulema of Deoband today said this was the only option available to the government after it failed to persuade the writer to leave the country.

Addressing a press conference here, Jamait-i-Ulema-e-Hind chief and Darul Uloom Deoband's Education department president Maulana Arshad Madni said that the Central government had the authority to extend the visa of Ms Nasreen and ''it has used its power.'' Reacting to the Centre's decision, Islamic scholar and writer Abdullah Javed said it was difficult for the Centre to persuade Ms Nasreen to leave the country, adding, ''India should not have allowed her to take refuge earlier.'' Both the cleric were of the view that the Bangladeshi author's decision to withdraw the controversial lines from her autobiographical novel 'Dwikhandita' and refraining from ''writing against Islam'' was not enough. Ms Nasreen should also appologise for hurting the religious sentiments of the Muslim community, they said.

''Taslima has hurt the sentiments of the Muslims by showing Islam in poor light through her writings and the protest against her would not come to an end unless she appologises publically for her act.'' Maulana Madani said.

Meanwhile, leading Islamic organisation the Jamait-i-Ulema-e-Hind's general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Maulana Mahmood Madni has not yet reacted to the Centre's decision.

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