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Bangladeshi feminist Taslima Nasreen ‘shocked’ over Malala’s marriage with Pakistani man

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Bangladeshi-Swedish writer and feminist Taslima Nasreen (L) and Malala Yousafzai posing during her nikkah ceremony as her newlywed husband, Asser Malik, signs the marriage contract. — Twitter
Bangladeshi-Swedish writer and feminist Taslima Nasreen (L) and Malala Yousafzai posing during her nikkah ceremony as her newlywed husband, Asser Malik, signs the marriage contract. — Twitter

Bangladeshi-Swedish writer and feminist Taslima Nasreen is “shocked” over the news of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai marrying a Pakistani man.

Shortly after Malala announced that she has tied the nuptial knot with PCB official, Asser Malik, and shared photogrpahs of her big day, felicitations started pouring in from all corners of the world. Celebrities, politicians, and the general public congratulated the 24-year-old education activist and wished her a happy life ahead.

However, Taslima Nasreen — who claims to be a human rights defender, secular humanist, and feminist — took to Twitter and expressed her “disappointment”. 

“Quite shocked to learn Malala married a Pakistani guy. She is only 24,” Taslima wrote.

The writer not only conveyed her disapproval of Malala marrying at a young age but said she also felt surprised because the education activist did not fall in love with a “progressive English man” while studying at the University of Oxford. 

“I thought she went to Oxford university [to] study, she would fall in love with a handsome progressive English man at Oxford and then think of marrying not before the age of 30. But..” Taslima opined.

Nasreen’s opinion angered Twitterati, who rushed to Malala’s rescue and censured the Bangladeshi writer. 

“It’s her life what’s ur problem ??” User Javeria wrote.

“Thankfully, Malala, only 24, is smart and knows her worth. She didn’t go to Oxford University to find a handsome “progressive” English man. She’s her own person who followed her heart with a man she truly loves and knows will complement her. God bless her and her gorgeous husband!” another user, Esinam Mizen, chimed in.

“Quite shocked a woman’s choices regarding what gives her happiness would disturb you. She fell in love with a handsome, progressive Pakistani man. At 24, she is also old enough to decide who she wants to do forever with and for sure does NOT need (y)our approval,” wrote Asiya R.

“Very narrow minded thinking, specially thinking an Oxford Handsome Guy is [the] solution to life’s problems. Agreed she may not have to rush the marriage but your mind seems clouded by the colonial servant mindset. I do enjoy your writings in newspaper, but this is disappointing,” a user named Mukit Ataul wrote.

User Soumi Paul criticised Nasreen and said: “This musing is no different from the patriarchy forcing a woman to marry who they deem fit. She is a highly educated woman with a voice of her own. She is empowered enough to think for herself and choose who her heart wants. We have no right to question her choices.”

Nasreen replies to critics

Responding to the criticism, Nasreen tweeted again, calling those who have been supporting Malala “misogynists”.

Malala terms marriage ‘precious day’

Malala announced her marriage on November 9, saying that she tied the knot during a small ceremony in Birmingham.

Taking to Twitter, the education activist wrote: “Today marks a precious day in my life. Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life. We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families. Please send us your prayers. We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead.”

Previous views about marriage 

Earlier this year, Malala had come under fire for expressing her views on marriage. In an interview with British Vogue magazine, Malala was quoted as saying: “I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?”

In response to the overwhelming criticism, Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, issued a clarification and said that his daughter’s statements were “misconstrued” by the media. 



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