» 07/07/2016, 14.58
Death threats for Christian and Hindu traders
The death threats from a banned Islamic group demand store owners enforce eight specific rules. These include having a copy of the Koran, serving beef in Hindu restaurants, not allowing women workers, removing Christian sacred images.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Christians and Hindus owners of shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses are being threatened with death if they do not comply with a list of eight Islamic rules. The death threats, contained in a leaflet, were delivered to dealers by members of the Islamic Khalafot Mojahidin Bangladesh (Ikmb), an Islamist group banned in Bangladesh.
Following the intimidation and attack in the Dhaka coffee shop, non-Muslim traders are now living in fear, but say they are not going to surrender. Albert Prodip Baperi, a Catholic who manages the Sino-Thai Yean Tun restaurant, told AsiaNews: "I will die, but I will not comply with the militants rules”.
The Catholic says: "A stranger handed me this flyer and then moved away from our counter. We reported the incident to the local police station. "
The letter was delivered a few months ago to his restaurant, which also organizes wedding receptions and birthday parties, as well as to some five-star hotels and other shops run by non-Muslim staff. Since that time the stores have placed high security measures and hired private security guards.
The directives are clear. Commercial establishments must comply with eight rules: their entrance must bear the inscription "Bismillah Rahman Rahim" [the invocation "In the name of Allah, the Clement, the Merciful" the opening lines of the Koran’s surah’s, ed]; have a copy of the Koran; have an image of Kaba Sharif [the cubic building in the center of the mosque in Mecca, considered the holiest place of Islam - ed]; remove paintings or sacred statues of their own religion; have a dedicated space for Muslim customers to pray; not serve haram (forbidden) food such as pork and if Muslims customers order beef in a Hindu restaurant [considered sacred by Hinduism], they must be served beef; closure of restaurants during the month of Ramadan; no music of any kind, except Islamic songs; women forbidden to work and, if they must then they must wear a hijab [headscarf] or bhurka [the dress that covers from head to toe, leaving only the eyes uncovered].
The penalty for those who contravene these guidelines is one: death at the hands of Ikmb militants. A Catholic restaurateur reports: "In our restaurant there are images of Jesus and Mary, and they will remain where they are."
Even the Christian Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd, the largest cooperatives of micro-credit in Bangladesh, run by Catholics, has received threats. Hemento Corraya, the secretary, says: "We have been the subject of threats. We have raised the alert levels in our offices. It is very sad that the Islamic fundamentalists are trying to control us by force. We have sought police help to guarantee our security".
17/08/2016 14:40:00 BANGLADESH
Bangladesh says goodbye to Fr Homrich, a missionary of the Garo people
The 88-year-old priest decided to return to the United States for health reasons and after receiving death threats from Islamic extremists. A defender of the tribal north of the country, he has published hymns and prayers in the Garo language. He founded at least 30 schools to give children an education.
24/08/2016 14:54:00 BANGLADESH
Instigator in liberal publisher’s murder arrested in Dhaka
Moinul Islam Shamim is a leading member of a banned Islamic group, Ansarullah Bangla Team. His arrest took place overnight in a neighbourhood in the capital. He had ordered the stabbing of Faisal Arefin Dipan, who published progressive ideas. A new threatening letter promises death to five figures "guilty" of atheism and apostasy.
Fear at Christmas in Bangladesh as two bishops receive death threats
Mgr Bejoy D'Cruze, bishop of Shylet, and Mgr Paul Panen Kubi, bishop of Mymenshing, received threatening text messages. Since October, 37 Christian leaders have received threats, including Nirmal Rozario, secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association. "Since Christians are a minority, their life is very vulnerable,” he said.
Dhaka, death threats against the family of a Christian convert from Islam
A year ago, Rashidul Khandaker, who was in Australia for business, converted to Christianity. Since then his family in Bangladesh has been marginalised and now it has received threats from an extremist group. Experts say such dangers should not be underestimated.
31/03/2017 10:17:00 BANGLADESH
Sylhet siege ends with the suicide of the militants. The dead include a child
The anti-terrorism agents surrounded the building for two days. The radicals chose suicide rather than surrender. In these hours other military operations are underway. The extremists belong to the outlawed group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
15/01/2018 LEBANON - SYRIA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.