A controversial Bangladeshi-Swedish writer, Taslima Nasreen came under fire for tweeting an Islamophobic remark against English batsman, Moeen Ali. The writer later deleted the tweet but those who saw it felt disgusted by it. She received widespread criticism even from Moeen’s teammates. They urged her to delete the problematic tweet and suggested everyone report Nasreen’s account.
Social media users have praised English players for supporting Moeen, an act that was not popular among the players of Asian teams. They particularly called out the Indian cricket team to learn a thing or two from England’s players. As per popular opinion, Indian cricketers do not stand up against racial, religious, or other identity-based attacks on their teammates.
What Didi Taslima Nasreen Say About Moeen Ali?
The writer said if Moeen Ali was not a cricketer, he would have joined an international terrorist organization, ISIS. The reason behind her tweet was not clear and neither the offender explained. Either way, the tweet was distasteful for so many social media users. They resurrected her deleted and questioned her profession as an author who sold Islamophobia.
Nasreen is a strong critic of Islam who was forced to leave Bangladesh in 1994 after receiving death threats for blasphemous writings. She spent 10 years in the US and Europe before India granted her temporary citizenship in 2004. Nasreen continued to promote secularism among Muslim societies (even uneducated ones) and eventually got named as an official murder target of another terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda. She fled from India as well to live in the US, protected by a non-profit agency, the Center for Inquiry (CFI).
People wondered if promoting Islamophobia is one of her ways to get her international visa extended.
An Example for Those Who Let Racism Slide
The way England national team players responded to Nasreen’s hate-mongering tweet, was inspirational for many. They hoped that it might also inspire Indian players to do the same for their teammates when they are being bullied. They highlighted how only English people were criticized for prejudice while it has grown worse in South Asian societies.
last year, West Indies cricketer Darren Sammy also mentioned that he faced racism while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL season 2013-2014.
Some said how English cricketers showed that they respect their teammates regardless of their color or religion. The same could not be said for India, where Muslims in different professions face abuse based on stereotypical notions.
Nasreen’s tweet was bound to start a political discussion as it coincided with the narrative of the extremist Hindutva movement in India. Attacks on Muslims have become a norm in India, as seen from the horrifying incidents of the Delhi riots.
People opined that it would be hard for India to decide which narrative to support now. At one point, there is Taslima Nasreen, an alleged target of Islamist groups and on the other, there is an accomplished all-rounder and a Global Brand Ambassador for Orphans in Need, an international NGO, who also happens to be a Muslim. India would certainly want him in IPL, where he plays for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Previously, India has come under fire for making an obligation on his wrist bands in a match against India in 2014. The wristbands said “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” to raise a voice against the tyranny by Israeli forces.
England and Wales cricket board cleared Moeen to wear the band but Australian umpire David Boon still did not let him wear those. Many people opined that maybe India has something to do with that in order to defeat the voices of the oppressed Muslims.
Taslima Nasreen’s “Clarification” Tweet Gets Slammed as Well
The controversial author stood in defiance and claimed that her Islamophobic tweet was somehow sarcastic. She argued that she only wanted to secularize Muslim society by fictionally associating a Muslim with a terrorist organization. Then she went off topic and mentioned major societal issues like Islamic fanaticism and anti-women ideology. However, she failed to explain how these issues were related to Moeen Ali.
English fast-bowler Jofra Archer doubted her psychological condition with her first tweet and called out hypocrisy in her clarification tweet as well.