02/16/2016, 13.53

Bangladesh, authorities close down book stand for insulting Islam

Sumon Corraya

The stand belongs to Ba-DWIP publisher Prakashan, who was participating in the annual book fair in Dhaka. The publishing house had "Bitarka Islam" (Debate on Islam) on display. The radicals claimed that the text contains disparaging statements against Islam and Muhammad. Writer: "In Bangladesh if someone kills a man he is not punished, but if he says or writes something against Islam yes."

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The Bangladeshi authorities have closed down a book stand of the Ba-DWIP Prakashan publishing house, because it displayed  a text containing insults to Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. The incident happened yesterday at Suhrawardy Udyan fair in Dhaka.

The fair is organized annually by the Bangla Academy, the national authority of Bangladeshi language, in memory of some college students killed by the Pakistani army on February 21, 1952. For days, the Islamic radicals had raised a storm of protest against the book on social networks, bringing the matter to the attention of the authorities who acted promptly.

In February, Bangladesh celebrates the "literacy month" to commemorate the Day of the martyrs, and since 1953 the premises of the Bangla Academy hosts the book fair. This event attracts millions of readers and many publishing houses, which sell thousands of texts.

One of these, entitled "Bitarka Islam" (Debate on Islam), is accused of containing derogatory remarks about Islam and its prophet. The book is edited by Shamsuzzoha Manik, publisher of the Ba-DWIP Prakashan company. According to the radicals, it contains targeted attacks on the Islamic religion, dubious comments on the life of Muhammad and insults to his person.

The CEO Shamsuzzaman Khan said: "We have received some information that revealed offensive comments in the text. For this, and according to the rules of our organization, we closed the stand of the publishing house. If we had continued to sell the book, we would have unleashed conflict in the country. "

Some bloggers and writers have denounced the Bangla Academy decision. One of them, who requested anonymity, told AsiaNews: "I object strongly to the decision of the Academy. In our country, if someone kills a human being he is not punished. But if he says or writes anything against the Islamic faith or forwards a critique of religion, then he meets with punishment".

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