People’s Alliance for Secularism and Democracy (PADS)

Press Release

Date: 23 February 2015

Expression of Concern Over Disruption of Discussion on a Book by the
Author Noor Zaheer

People’s Alliance for Secularism and Democracy (PADS) is alarmed to
learn that the short story writer and novelist Noor Zaheer, who is the
author of a new book titled ‘Denied by Allah’ faced a disruption of a
discussion on her book at the World Book Fair in Delhi on 22 February
2015; We condemn any attempts to threaten and to silence an exponent
for women’s rights in India. We fully defend her rights to publically
signal how religious laws, injunctions and practices impede on women’s

We would like to alert all in the media, and secular minded groups
that they should provide space to highlight the views expressed by
Noor Zaheer.

We are concerned about the well-being of the author and
her publisher.

The freedom to express opinions is one of the key
hallmarks of any democratic society, and threats to these should be
taken seriously without fear of hurting anyone’s sentiments.

Released in New Delhi
by Dipak Dholakia, Dilip Simeon and Sanjay Kumar
On behalf of PADS