Over the last eleven days, Hindus of Bangladesh in many parts of the country have been living under extreme fear and agony. They are also scared to talk about what and who are responsible for the barbaric atrocities upon their community in the country.
How did the latest episodes of the atrocities on innocent Hindus start? A copy of the principal Islamic religious book of Quran was found on the lap of the idol of the Hindu deity Hanuman in front of a Durga Puja venue in Cumilla in the early morning of October 13, 2021. That was interpreted as an insult on that book not only by the Islamic fanatic citizens of Bangladesh, but also by the police officer who went there after the incident was reported to the police! The Hindus there got scared of what might follow as atrocities on them by senseless Muslim mobs.
What followed in Bangladesh were not widely reported in the significant newspapers there, as the news media there have a history of self-censoring of news on atrocities on religions minorities by Muslim mobs in the country.
As per a BBC news report on October 22, 2021, “within hours of the rumor spreading on social media, hundreds of Muslim fundamentalists went on a rampage targeting Hindu religious pavilions in Comilla. Soon, the violence spread to other parts of Bangladesh. Temples were desecrated and hundreds of houses and businesses of the Hindu minority torched. Seven people, including two Hindus, were killed and many more injured in days of violence. Police opened fire and used tear gas in several places to contain the raging mob.”
The other parts of Bangladesh included Chandpur, where 4 Muslim criminals were killed by police firing on the mobs, according to a Daily Star (Bangladesh) report on October 14, 2021. That report did not talk about the number or names of the innocent Hindu victims!
The other parts of the country also included Cox’s Bazar, Chandpur, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj and Moulvibazar, according to a bdnews24.com report on October 14, 2021. Again, the number and names of innocent Hindu victims were not reported. These places are located in the east, north and central parts of Bangladesh.
Also, according to the same BBC news report, nearly a week after the violence began, dozens of Hindu houses were torched in northern Bangladesh after another social media post alleged that Hindus defamed an Islamic holy place, the government had to deploy security forces in 22 districts to control the riots, and Muslim leaders called for harsh punishments against those who defame Islam.
The atrocities in northern Bangladesh were reported by the Daily Star (Bangladesh) on October 18, 2021. According to that report, miscreants (Muslim mobs) set fire to 25 houses and shops owned by poor, innocent and nonviolent Hindus. A total of 66 families were affected by the incident, according to a government agency.
The atrocities by Muslim mobs in Bangladesh also included Chaumuhani, Noakhali, in the central part of Bangladesh. There, two Hindus were killed while Muslim mobs attacked, vandalized, and looted Hindu temples, households, and businesses. This was reported by the Dhaka Tribune on October 16, 2021.
Based upon news media reports, the atrocities on Hindus by Muslim mobs were widespread in Bangladesh.
Recent social media reports also included several rapes as well; and they cannot be ruled out just because the self-censoring mainstream newspapers did not report them.
All the violence, vandalism, torching of properties, hurting people, raping women and girls, and murdering people were done as one-sided atrocities by Muslim mobs upon innocent Hindus. While insulting a book is not a crime in any civilized nation, the crime by Bangladeshi standards, of putting the Quran on the lap of a Hanuman idol, was not done and could not have been done by a believing Hindu. The reality is that the Quran has at least 20 verses that admonish idolatry. The lap is a place for affection, and Quran surely is not a lovable book to an idolator. No believing Hindu would put that book on the lap of the idol of his/her revered monkey. Indeed, it was not done by a Hindu; it was done by a Muslim, obviously to outrage the Muslims who are incapable of rational thinking.
Strangely, from all the atrocities, the popular demand in Bangladesh has been to find and punish the people who placed the Quran on Hanuman’s lap, a lot more so than to punish the Muslim mob criminals! The idea is that placing the Quran there caused too many Muslims to go crazy. Even the mainstream newspaper, Dhaka Tribune, had the following news headline two days back: “Iqbal Hossain, key suspect in anti-Hindu violence, brought to Comilla”! (Comilla is an old spelling of the name of the present district of Cumilla in Bangladesh.)
But was it really the Quran on Hanuman’s lap that turned too many Muslims crazy? If they had common sense, could they have gone insane for that? If they did not have too much of Islamic sentiments, could they have done what they did? My answers to all three questions are “No”.
Iqbal Hossain and his accomplices played a bad prank; they wanted to provoke the Islamic sentimental fools of Bangladesh. They did not commit vandalism, arson, looting, hurting people, raping, murdering, any kind of crimes that the mobs did. They also did not make the would-be criminals excessively Islamic sentimental. They were not the real culprits behind the atrocities.
So, who were the real culprits behind the recent heinous crimes by Muslim mobs on innocent and nonviolent Hindus in Bangladesh? My answer to the question is, anyone who put too much of Islamic sentiments in the heads of the majority population of the country.
Who are the people that put too much of Islamic sentiments in the heads of the Muslim pollution of Bangladesh? Here are a few answers that I can think of. The intellectuals and politicians who promote and protect Islam in Bangladesh. The secular-claiming political party that uses ‘Allahu Akbar’ as their motto and keeps Islam as the state religion. The secular-claiming prime minister who wants to build more than 500 model mosques in the country. The PhD degree-holding science professor at Dhaka University who uses burqa to show off her Islamic faith. The expatriate scientist living in the West who sends money to Bangladesh to build mosques and madrasas over promoting factual and logical thinking.
For not only respecting non-Muslims, but also to bring the Muslims to modernity, promotion and protection of Islam must end in Bangladesh and everywhere else in the world.