Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the home minister to adopt a stern stance against those involved in communal violence across Bangladesh. The government has to take stringent action and must detain those involved in communal violence, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, citing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who led the cabinet meeting on Tuesday via video conference from her official residence, the Ganabhaban.
“We must urge people not to react. If someone dishonours the holy Quran, the Quran does not give us the authority to go and vandalise something that belongs to their religion. Even if it is not right, and may be a crime, we must remember that Islam does not give such authority to any Muslim.”
On Oct 13, Hindu temples were attacked and vandalised in Cumilla amid Durga Puja, over an incident where a Quran was ‘dishonoured’ at a Hindu place of worship. Anti-Hindu violence then spread to Chandpur, Chattogram, Noakhali, Feni and Rangpur where the minority community’s houses, businesses and places of worship were attacked. Police have, so far, arrested 450 people over the 71 cases filed over the attacks in different districts. “We can protest.
We can demand the government catch the perpetrators and take them to trial. But we shouldn’t engage in any destructive action, which is absolutely unaccepted in Islam,” the cabinet secretary said. The secretary said the government had previously handled such issues alongside the home minister and ‘gave him the order to take action.’ “Those who this unrest must be nabbed as soon as possible. Also, religious and political figures have been requested to share their ideas of Islam with the common people highlighting the fact that Islam does not endorse recrimination for any minor slight on our religion.”