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Bangladesh: Indian Muslims Condemn Attacks On Temples, Demand Protection To Life and Property Of Hindus

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Prominent Muslim organizations and leaders have strongly condemned the vandalization of temples during Durga Puja celebrations in neighbouring Bangladesh. The incident forced the Bangladesh government to deploy paramilitary forces in 22 districts to bring the situation under control.

Condemning the violence in Bangladesh, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s media secretary Syed Tanveer Ahmed said, “Lawlessness weakens democracy. Vandalism of religious places is not allowed in any democracy and under Islamic law as well.”

He hoped that the government of Bangladesh would resolve the issue urgently given its sensitive nature and protect minority community and their places of worship.

Stating that the attack on temples was not justified, former Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan said that what happened in Bangladesh yesterday was not allowed even in a strict Islamic sense.

An Islamic scholar, Dr. Khan, said that non-Muslims living in a state governed by Sharia have the freedom to worship and are entitled to protecting their life and property by the state.

Dr. Khan demanded strict punishment against those involved in the vandalism of temples and attacks on life and property of minorities at different places in Bangladesh during the Durga Puja festival.

Even under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter of the United Nations and all international laws about human rights, Dr Khan said that it was the state’s duty to protect their citizens irrespective of their faith.

He asked the Bangladesh government to ensure that non-Muslims could practice their religion freely and peacefully.

Dr. Khan said that the Prophet, in his last words, told his companions “to protect non-Muslims in their states”. In a tweet, he said that on the Last Day of Judgement, the Prophet would be an adversary to those Muslims who harmed non-Muslims.

Vehemently condemning the violence, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM) President Navaid Hamid said fanatics on both sides of the border wanted to vitiate peace and harmony. He noted that non-Muslims in Bangladesh or any other country for that matter had every right to profess and practice their religious beliefs without any fear from any quarter. He appreciated the action of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in taking swift action against the miscreants and providing foolproof security to Durga Puja pandals and temples.

Demanding that the government in Bangladesh must identify the culprits involved in attacks on Durga Puja pandals and temples, Gujarat-based businessman Zafar Sareshwala said it was the duty of the Bangladesh government to provide security to minorities in their country. Sareshwala is reported to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that Hindus in Bangladesh are as much a citizen of their country as anybody else. Demanding that their religious rights be protected, he said they should have freedom of religion like any other citizen of Bangladesh.

Ahmedabad-based human rights activist Mukhtar Mohammad said that attacks on temples in Bangladesh were extremely condemnable no matter the provocation. The Bangladeshi government, he said, should take strict action against the vandals.

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