Dhaka Siege and Muslim Massacre

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Bangladesh

Violence erupted across Bangladesh on Monday as Islamist fundamentalists demanding passage of an anti-blasphemy law. (Source)

The Daily Star,a Bangladeshi newspaper, gave thefigure of deaths as 5. However, several internet reports have mentioned that the number of deaths could be as high as 2,500 or more. Pictures of dead bodies have also been distributed over the internet. Major news channels in Bangladesh have been silenced. Two private television channels that were showing live pictures of the attacks upon the demonstrators were immediately closed down. (Source)

The BNP-led 18-party alliance on Monday called countrywide shutdowns for Wednesday and Thursday protesting the killing of unarmed Ullemas (Source)

The Secretary-General calls on all concerned to stop the violence, to respect the law and to express their views peacefully. Mr. Ban also urged political and religious leaders to engage in constructive dialogue and help defuse the tensions. (Source)

In February this year, Bangladesh had become a stage of controversy between a ~90% Muslim country, which would make ~145million individuals and a Government whose constitution defines itself as a Secular Democratic Republic. The issue began when the a tribunal of court, allegedly on the behest of the Government, opened trial oneight top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the countrys largest Islamic party, on charges of mass killings, rapes and arson allegedly committed during Bangladeshs nine-month war of separation from Pakistan. Several clashes, protests, killings and injuries followed under a cloud of suspicion between the populace and the government, whom they think of as conspiring against their religious values.

The 5thof May has again brought fresh violence and massacre, some unofficial reports say that the death toll has mounted up to 5000; the true picture has been kept hidden through a state-controlled media. This time again the clash is between a secular government and a religious populace. But the question is that is a secular government supposed to act as a pacifier between contending religious factions of the society or are they the ones who arouse them by attacking the way-of-life which is their democratic right?

Here at PKKH we see this massacre, not only as a brutal attack on the human rights situation of the Bangladeshi people but also as an attack on their political rights. We also recognize that wherever there is Secularism, there is not peace and tolerance for religion, but rather there is a call for tolerating all that is anti-religion, and this is a matter of high alarm for us.

Here at PKKH we see our Bangladeshi brethren as part of our brotherhood, and do not view their conditions as far away and alien to ours. In Bangladesh there is a deep lesson for us, that even being a political and numerical Muslim majority, we are to be at wars with a minor ultra-modernized elite, that will always try to impose its will upon us, unless we are ready to take back our right with a political and democratic fight every day.

Our prayers and support is for the Bangladeshi Muslim majority, and our hearts are cut by the news of brutal, unreported massacre of Muslim family members. And we remind all our Muslim governments around the world that it is the majority that has the right to power on all negotiation tables.

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