Asia - Pacific

Bangladeshi Islamic party leader expresses concerns about attacks on Muslims in India

Most people want communal harmony, peaceful co-existence, say citizens from both countries

Md. Kamruzzaman  | 31.10.2021 - Update : 31.10.2021
Bangladeshi Islamic party leader expresses concerns about attacks on Muslims in India


DHAKA, Bangladesh 

A top-ranked Islamic political party leader in Bangladesh expressed concerns about attacks on Muslims and said he wants to peacefully co-exist with his
Indian neighbors.

Citizens from both countries also expressed similar views to Anadolu Agency,

“Muslims in different states in India are now scared and helpless. In this circumstance, the Indian government must arrest the extreme Hindu terrorists who attacked the Muslims and bring the miscreants to justice,” the head of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh, Mufti Syed Rezaul Karim, said in a statement late Saturday.

Citing media reports, he alleged that extremists have launched at least 27 attacks on 16 mosques and members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or World Hindu Council, an infamous Hindu extremist organization, set fire to three mosques and put the organization’s flag over several mosques after storming Muslims’ places of worship.

“While extremist Hindus of India are threatening to occupy Bangladesh after attacks on some Hindu temples, the Indian government has failed to take any initiative after damaging houses, shops and mosques of Muslims in Tripura and Assam states,” he alleged.

He also urged Indian authorities to immediately intensify vigilance to protect Muslims’ property, including mosques, to ensure peace and tranquility. “Otherwise, it may flare up protests across the world.”

Karim urged the international media to play a due role in case of any human rights violations of Muslims or any community in India as reporters were very active during recent sectarian violence in Bangladesh following a social media post demeaning the Holy Quran at a Hindu temple in the east-central district of Comilla on Oct. 13.

Peaceful co-existence

Citizens of the two neighboring states, however, told Anadolu Agency that Hindus and Muslims, as well as people from other communities in the region, have been living peacefully for centuries.

“Sometimes we face some unexpected incidents of communal violence in India and Bangladesh that make us shocked. But most of us believe in peace and love and always wish to live together for each other’s faiths and religions,” said Arman Mahin, a secondary level student in Bangladesh’s southern district of Barguna.

Waliur Rahman, a resident in the capital of Dhaka’s Paltan area, however, added that after the communal violence in Bangladesh, the government and individuals have come forward to help Hindus and constructed houses that were damaged and temples of the victims, provided handsome cash payments and arrested hundreds of suspects who perpetrated the offenses.

“We expect that in case of attacks on Muslims in India, the response from the concerned government and people will be the same and we see a tranquil and peaceful co-existence,” added Rahman.

Echoing those remarks, Rohit Ghosh, a writer living in the northern Indian city of Kanpur, said \ the majority of people in India want to live peacefully with people from other religions.

“There are few people who are creating an atmosphere of hate against minority communities. They have got their vested interest,” he said before adding that they will not succeed in their intention as people now have realized that our country has made progress by efforts of every citizen.

Avinash Sharma, who resides in the southern city of Chennai said some close friends are Muslims and he would not think of harming them in any manner.

Stray incidents do not affect peace

“We have lived with Muslims and never felt that they are different from us. We will continue to share the same bond and closeness with them. These stray incidents would not affect our relationship with other communities, including Muslims,” Avinash told Anadolu Agency.

Md. Abdullah Al Mahmud, assistant professor at the world religions and culture department at Dhaka University, said Islam never supports violence.

He said as the closest neighbor of India, the Bangladeshi government should communicate through diplomatic channels with Indian authorities and request they beef up safety and security measures for the protection of minority Muslims.

“India is a secular and democratic country and so all people have rights to freely practice their religions and enjoy the freedom of expression,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“At the same time, the government of Bangladesh and the majority Muslims of the South Asian country must remember that Islam is very serious about the rights of minorities and never allows harassment of one for any crime of another,” he added.

*Shuriah Niazi from New Delhi, India contributed to this story.

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