Bangladesh Pulls Down Statue of Lady Justice To Please Islamic Radicals
Succumbing to the demands of Islamic radicals and a promise made by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to religious conservatives, the Greek-styled goddess of justice statue was removed from the Supreme Court premises as it was something which was “not allowed in Islam”.
Bangladeshi workers take down a controversial statue on the premises of the country's highest court after Islamist radicals protested for months against what they called an 'un-Islamic' Greek deity on May 26, 2017. (AFP/Getty Images)
Dhaka: Succumbing to the demands of Islamic radicals and a promise made by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to religious conservatives, the Greek-styled goddess of justice statue was removed from the Supreme Court premises as it was something which was “not allowed in Islam”.
Maulana Abul Hasanat Amini, vice chairman of Khelafotee Islamir Amir of Islamic Okojot, an Islamic preacher, “lauded” Bangladesh PM’s decision to remove the statue and said that she “had kept her promise which she had made last month in ‘gonobhobon’ (a congregation), that the statue would be removed from the court premises before Ramadan sets in. He also lashed out at the protestors stating that “they were not the true believers of Islam, but were also a threat to the country.”
The statue of Lady Justice, which was installed six months ago and was sculpted by Mrinal Haque, was made out of iron rods. It was a subject of dispute ever since its installation as it did not go down well with the hardliners in the Muslim majority nation. The radicals had demanded that the robe-clad and blindfolded statue should be destroyed and be replaced with the Holy Quran.
Since December last year, groups like Hefazat, Qawmi madrasa-based Islamist platform which wants to have Shariah law enforced in the country, and Islami Andolon Bangladesh have been vigorously raising their voice to destroy the statue. The terrorist group Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladesh affiliate of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has also expressed its support for the demand.
The work to remove the statue from the court premises was on the instruction of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and was carried out in the wee hours of Friday morning. Around 10 people uprooted the statue using hammer and chisel. It was later picked up by a crane and was carried away by a truck. Scribes and the sculptor Haque was waiting at the gate of the Supreme Court but was not allowed entry.
Syed Nazakat, editor of the Centre of Investigative Journalism told News18 that “the country may look peaceful from outside, but it is burning from inside.”
“The country is suffering from a great political divide. Since independence, the two political parties have tried to rule the country and now with the rise of extremists, the country has become a mess. Government is unable to deal with it too. Jamaat-e-Islami has a lot of say in the affairs of the nation and any prime minister cannot work without their support and that is what is happening with Sheikh Hasina too. She did try to be very hard but could not muscle up to them and hence now warming up by such measures,” said Nazakat.
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