Indian Humanists Arrested for Distributing a Book Critical of Islam

March 1, 2010

Narisetti

The Center for Inquiry’s New Delhi, India contacts have reported that CFI/India President Innaiah Narisetti , as well as two other individuals—rationalist M. Subbarao and editor Macha Laxmaiah (alias Krantikar)—have been arrested for distributing a book “that reportedly hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.”

The book, Crescent over the World , is a compilation of articles including submissions by Ibn Warraq, Salman Rushdie, and Taslima Nasreen, along with one of the “blasphemous” cartoons published in the Danish press in 2005 (some of which were republished in Free Inquiry magazine).

From a Feb. 26 Thaindian News report:

“The arrests followed massive protests by Muslims in Khammam, around 250 km from Hyderabad. They took out a rally, demanding action against the author and those who helped him.

“Police said they seized 380 books of the first volume and 410 books of the second volume of the publication in different parts of Khammam district.”

According to the Press Trust of India , all three of the arrested have been jailed on “judicial remand.” CFI/India sources report that they will remain jailed until at least a judge’s hearing of their bail applications Tuesday, March 2.

The Center for Inquiry is distressed by the arrest of these individuals and condemns this blatant suppression of free speech and critical examination of religion.