» 02/26/2013, 00.00
Thousands of people rally against Islamic party and the political use of religion
Sumon Francis Gomes
People of different origins and social backgrounds rally together, reading passages from the sacred texts of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami supporters continue their rampage, accusing peaceful demonstrators of blasphemy.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) -
Thousands of people of different age, faith, profession and ethnic background
joined in protest against the political use of religion. They recited passages
from the sacred texts of the country's great religions-namely the Qur'an
(Islam), the Bible (Christianity), Gita (Hinduism) and Tripitaka (Buddhism) -and
sang the national anthem to affirm, "Religion is personal, the state is for all".
The rally took place on
21 February on the initiative of Gonojagoron Mancha, a peace group that
has been demonstrating for weeks demanding justice against those responsible
for war crimes in the Jamaat-e-Islami, an opposition Islamic party. Protesters
also want the party's youth wing barred. However, this has not stopped Jamaat
supporters from carrying out acts of violence that left four people dead. They accuse
anti-Jamaat protesters of blasphemy.
"Our protest is not against
religion," said Imran Sarker, main organiser of the rally. "On the contrary,
our fight is to end the sickening politics of Jamaat-Shibir, which uses
religion for political purposes." The latter is Jamaat-e-Islami youth wing.
For its part, the Islamist
party continues its actions, organising strikes (hartal) that end up in vandalism, hooliganism and violence against
police and peaceful protesters.
Jamaat supporters have escalated their violent action after parliament,
which is controlled by the Awami League, adopted changes to the International
Crimes (Tribunal) Act of 1973.
Now the authorities can
impose the death penalty on anyone convicted of war crimes dating back to 1971.
They could also bar Jamaat-e-Islami, which has been blamed for torture,
summary executions and rape.
Four people have died
in one of the latest incidents caused by supporters of the Islamist party last Friday.
Journalists, intellectuals and police were also attacked on that occasion.
Gonojagoron Mancha activists have also been regularly targeted in Chittagong, Feni,
Chandpur, Rajshahi, Bogra, Sirajganj, Joypurat, Sylhet, Moulvibazar and Pabna. In
many incidents, Jamaat supporters
have burnt Bangladeshi flags.
On 21 February, Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina, spoke about the rising tensions in the country. "Bangladesh
will be a non-communal social system," she said. The "the rights of all
religions to be ensured" and "everyone will live here enjoying equal rights".
11/05/2016 09:41:00 BANGLADESH
Head of the Jamaat-e-Islami is hanged
Motiur Rahman Nizami was executed yesterday. The leader of the largest Islamic party in the country refused to seek a presidential pardon, thus conceding his crimes. He was accused of committing genocide, rape and murder in the conflict for liberation from Pakistan in 1971. The Islamic party has called a general strike; the body of the deceased buried in his native village.
05/09/2016 13:15:00 BANGLADESH
Bangladesh hangs another Islamic Jamaat party leader
Mir Quasem Ali was the main financier of the political movement. The Tribunal for war crimes confirmed 10 charges of 14 against him. He was among the collaborators who supported Pakistani soldiers in the conflict for the liberation of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh: dozens killed in clashes between Islamists and police
The violence erupted after the sentencing to death of a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party), accused of war crimes in 1971. More than 800 injured. Among the victims, three policemen. Explosions in several neighborhoods of the capital, temples and houses burnt the Hindu community in the southeast. The Islamic religious authority in the country calls for calm.
Shahbagh, Bangladesh's 'Tahrir Square', against war crimes
Hundreds of thousands of people in Dhaka want the death penalty for members of the Islamic party involved in massacres, torture and rape during the War of Independence (1971). Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami supporters wreck havoc in the city.
05/05/2016 13:22:00 BANGLADESH
Bangladeshi Supreme Court sentences leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death
Motiur Rahman Nizami is charged with committing war crimes, genocide, rape and premeditated massacre of intellectuals. At the time, during the liberation war in 1971, he was the leader of the party’s student wing. His execution is scheduled in a few days, unless the president pardons him. Catholic Source: "Sentence is politically motivated, but the criminal is not innocent." The abandonment of the old leaders by the new political generation.
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
22/02/2018 CHINA â€" VATICAN
19/02/2018 INDIA â€" VATICAN
24/02/2018 VATICAN â€" PAKISTAN
21/02/2018 SYRIA - TURKEY
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.