Connect with us

World news

Bangladesh Protesters Want Death Penalty For Bloggers Who Insult Islam

Published

on

Bangladesh Protest.JPEG-0e43e

One person has been killed as hundreds of thousands of people continued protests in Bangladesh demanding that the government should introduce an anti-blasphemy law that would include the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.

A local leader of the Awami League, Nowsher Khan, was killed in Bhanga, a town south west of Dhaka on Saturday, when Hefazat-e-Islami party supporters clashed with Awami League supporters.  

The protest on Saturday, tagged the “long march”, with many travelling from remote villages, was sparked after a group of bloggers allegedly began criticising conservative religious parties that are widely popular despite Bangladesh’s secular constitution.

Allegedly backed by Jamaat-e-Islami party, Hefazat-e-Islam, an Islamic group which draws support from tens of thousands of seminaries, organised the rally in support of its 13-point demand including enactment of a blasphemy law to prosecute and hang atheist bloggers.

Dhaka has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country since Friday afternoon, after secularists called a 22-hour nationwide strike to obstruct the march.

Both secular and Muslim protesters have taken to the streets over the war crimes trials of leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in cases related to the 1971 war against Pakistan in which three million people were killed and many thousands of women were molested.

Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life in prison in February spurring youth protests calling for a death sentence for him instead. This led to counter-protests by religious parties in the country.

Clashes erupted days later when well-known protester and blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was killed, followed by more deaths in ensuing violence.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Shakil Ahmed, the head of output for Ekattor television in Bangladesh, said that the protests on Saturday were peaceful and had been fuelled by misinformation on both sides.

“Wrong information has been spread out by some of the activists,” said Ahmed.

She confirmed that protests were peaceful but said that one death had been reported on Friday night and another on Saturday morning.  

An activist from the ruling Awami League was reportedly shot dead after the secularists clashed with hundreds of seminary students holding a rally in support of the march, local police chief Yasir Arafat told AFP news agency. 

“Authorities have become more and more experienced in dealing with the protests … Right now they are trying to contain the crowds and are making sure that it does not get violent.”

The editor of the Dhaka Tribune, Zafar Sobhan however said that while the government had maintained a “neutral line” and was “scrambling” to prevent an “explosive” situation, he thinks it was unlikely that a blasphemy law would be introduced. 

He said that the march was less about a blasphemy law but was more of a reaction to calls for the death penalty for political party leaders being tried for war crimes. 

“The march is more of a, if you [the bloggers] are going to demand the death penalty against us [the political party leaders, then we are going to demand a death penalty against you.”

Last week, four online writers were arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiment through their Internet writings against Islam.

Sobhan said the arrests were being seen as a “heavy-handed measure” to appease Islamists.

Operators of top Bangladeshi blogs blacked out their sites on Thursday to protest against the government move.

They say the government has been kowtowing to the religious activists.

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan on Wednesday said the government had identified 11 bloggers, including the four detainees, who had hurt the religious sentiments of the nation’s majority Muslim population.

The government has blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the unrest. It has also set up a panel, which includes intelligence chiefs, to monitor blasphemy on social media.

Under the country’s cyber laws, a blogger or Internet writer can face up to ten years in jail for defaming a religion. [AlJazeera]

Continue Reading
6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. APOSTLE PETER OSSAI

    April 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    any religion that tends to solve its problem through violence is not of GOD, if u serving GOD let Him fight for you

  2. Oh Allah! Have mercy.

    April 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    @ peter, u don’t have brain, muslims ain’t like you christians who take ur man made religion for granted in the name of being gentle k.worst of creature, Yeye person wey no get better brain.

  3. Oh Allah! Have mercy.

    April 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    @ peter, u don’t have brain, muslims ain’t like you christians who take ur man made religion for granted in the name of being gentle k.worst of creature, Yeye person wey no get better thinking faculty .

  4. Cash

    April 7, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Islam…religion of peace as many acclaim.hmm interesting.now start mentioning those islamic countries dt live peacefully…iraq..iran,saudi arabia,mali,9ja,pakistan,afghanistan,somalia,indonesia,bangladesh,libya………quote me wrong if u can

  5. kenny

    April 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

    @oh allah u re d most useless nd stupid boy ave ever seen in my lyf, did u tink wen sumbdy acuse u d nxt tin is 2 kil dat person, dat is y xtian re beta dan u pple cos dey wil stil pray 4 u nd ask u 2 repent.

  6. me

    April 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    we r muslims…i dnt see anytin wrng here, d xtains can do dsame if dey want

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World news

JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

Published

on

ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

(more…)

Continue Reading

World news

US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

Published

on

Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

Continue Reading

World news

Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

Published

on

President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

Continue Reading

Trending