In Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, riots resulted in at least 3 deaths and over 100 injured when at least 200,000 protesters belonging mostly to right wing ‘Hefajat-e-Islam’ marched and clashed causing wide scale destruction.
The protestors chanted “One point, One demand: Atheists must be hanged.”
Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to scatter the protesters. The protestors, members of the radical Islamist group, demanded the death penalty for those who they think defame Islam.
The 13-point list of demands also included a ban on the right of women to work outside the household and the prohibition for women to mix with men. The Islamists also demanded the release of those accused of war crimes during country’s liberation war in 1971, which established the sovereign nation of Bangladesh.
The government of Bangladesh has declined the group’s demands to enact an anti-blasphemy law saying that the country lives by secular liberal laws. As a result the leaders of Hefajat-e-Islam promised to launch a campaign to dethrone the government unless their demands are met.
The People's Republic of Bangladesh went from being a secular state in 1971 to having Islam as the state religion in 1988. Despite its state religion, Bangladesh uses a secular penal code which dates from 1860—the time of the British occupation.
There are, however, troubling new signs of a move towards a growing. It definitely is the biggest threat to the country’s Constitution and secular underpinnings.
These waves of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh can surely not be taken positively at any level. Islamic extremism will endanger the Bangladeshi society. To avoid that, religious leaders, politicians, teachers and all conscious citizens should come together to rid the society of extremism. Highly unlikely, but the only hope for Bangladesh!