10/21/2015, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Bangladeshi Islamists threaten media, call for women staffers to be sacked

by Sumon Corraya
Terrorist group sends e-mail to media outlets, telling them to stop violating Islamic law, which does not allow women to work outside the home. “Our directives will be the law for you from today;” otherwise, “your heads will roll”.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Islamist terrorist group ‘Al Kaida Ansarullah Bangla Team 13’ sent an e-mail two days ago to at least 25 media outlets, threatening exemplary punishment if they continue to employ women and publish "anti-jihad" content.

“Since the Islamic Sharia holds the working of women outside home and their movements without the ‘purdah’* as punishable offence, those employing them are equally guilty,” the message said, justifying the sacking of female employees.

“Our directives will be the law for you from today. The consequences will be severe if you do not walk the path of Islam. Towering buildings will crumble to the ground, your heads will roll at the feet of the soldiers of Islam,” the letter read.

“No one will be spared if you support atheists,” the message added. “If your freedom of expression breaks the limit we have set, every news media unit should be prepared to face [the consequences] of our freedom to vent our anger,” the mail read.

"The highest authorities have been informed,” said Muntasirul Islam, Deputy Commissioner (Media) for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. “We are investigating to ascertain who was behind these emails and from where they were sent.”

Al Kaida Ansarullah Bangla Team 13 is the same group that recently sent two threatening letters to bloggers and intellectuals critical of Islam, accusing them of being atheists.

In 2015 alone, fundamentalists hacked to death at least four people. The recent murders of Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella and Hoshi Kunio, a Japanese national, have also been linked to Islamic extremism.

These groups "do not believe in women’s emancipation,” said a Catholic journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, “because they are blinded by their religion. That is why they want us not to work in the media."

"Police should do more to protect journalists and bloggers from Islamic militants,” she added.

* Purdah or pardah (from the Persian "curtain") is a religious and social practice of female seclusion from male eyes.

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