Jane Austen She's Not

If those mobs in Dhaka howling for Taslima Nasrin's head had ever read her books, they might really be angry. What, for example, would they make of:

When a dog is chasing you, be warned.

That dog has rabies.

When a man is chasing you, be warned.

That man has syphilis.

This verse may be more nuanced and lyrical in the original Bengali, but the English translation conveys qualities that even most of Nasrin's supporters in Bangladesh readily concede: she is very angry, not given to nice distinctions, eager to shock and unconcerned with turning fine phrases.

Thanks to her enemies,...

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