This letter was published in French (17 August 1994) at the request of the Paris based Reporters sans Frontières, (Reporters without Borders International)

Dear Taslima,

I am one among the millions of your unknown admirers. Admirers for the nobility, and the courage of your stand in defence of the multitude of humbled and resigned women whose lives are silently sacrified. Yourself a woman, you have been attentive to the calls and the murmurings of mutilated lives. You have not turned away, nor shown indifference, rather you have listened to the complaints, taking them upon yourself. As a fiction writer, you have accepted to assume the torment of others, to lend your voice, your mind, your intelligence to the muted and the recluses of terror.

As a doctor you have endeavoured to diagnose the disease, to remove contempt, prejudice, fanaticism from the social body in an effort to save it. You have done this with the conscience, the rigour, and the detachment of the practitioner who exposes his life at the patient's bedside.

By this twin approach, you have attained a spirited and ethical oeuvre. You had the option of a quiet, confortable life alongside ignomy, acquiescing in all injustices. But you were not to be a silent accomplice. You have denounced social inequality based on sex, prejudice, fanaticism. You have proclaimed solidarity and equality among all human beings.

This is why you were condemned to death. To justify it for public opinion, you are maligned... The irresponsable mob is incited against you, pressure is brought to bear, the whole world is threatened by jihad if your blood is not shed. You are so lonely, Taslima, among your own - those very same whom you protected, now fulminate and reject you.

Why, then, all this sanguinary hatred, this desire for a human sacrifice, this international scandal? If your views displeased, if they are erroneous, why not discuss them, prove how little value they have. But, the reason is your defiance of taboos, that of male domination over the female, of obscurantism over reason, for you infringed the rules that imposed submission and silence. It is your speech that arouses fury, since your speech is neither captive, nor conniving. By acting thus, you have confronted those who claim a monopoly on morality, those who highjack speech, impose intellectual terrorism and reduce their opponents to silence. The ills you have so courageously denounced are pervasive everywhere; they are characteristic of all civilisations and they have engendered genocides, Auschwitz and goulags...

Dear Taslima, do you know that you are also fighting for us in the West? A Western world, which, scoffingly, targeted, during thirty years, only some small nations, nailing them to the stocks of inquisitorial hatred. An easy outlet for a good conscience at little expense, conveniently masking the dehumanisation of hundreds of millions, crushed under the iron rule of monstrous and menacing states or political blocs.

Dear Taslima, your voice reminds us that humanity is everywhere the same, whatever be the colour, creed or sex; that your sorrow is ours, that your dignity is ours, that the denial of your rights is the denial of ours, that your humiliation... is also our shame.

That is why, dear Taslima, so many unknown persons wish to express their gratitude and their admiration. Your voice is the pride of your faith and of your country. It joins the chorus of the voices, past and present, famous and anonymous, of all those who, wounded in their love and their respect for their fellow beings, believed in, craved for, and laid down their lives for a better world.

Bat Ye'or