Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bangladesh’s Lady Liberty removed under pressure by Islamic extremists

By Julfikar Ali Manik and Ellen Barry
The statue personifying justice that was removed from outside the Supreme Court in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in the predawn hours on Friday. Credit Abir Abdullah/European Pressphoto Agency
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Under pressure from Islamic hard-liners, the Bangladeshi authorities in the predawn hours on Friday swiftly and quietly removed a sculpture of a woman personifying justice from outside the country’s Supreme Court building. The statue had been the target of angry, swelling protests by Hefazat-e-Islam, a vast Islamic organization based in Chittagong, which argued that art depicting living beings was proscribed by Islam. The decision is a substantial victory for Hefazat, which has said that it hopes to eventually remove all public art representing humans or animals across Bangladesh. The organization has also called for an end to art classes that teach life drawing in public schools. [More]
Members of Hefazat-e-Islam, a hardliner Islamist group in the country, chant slogans as they take part in a protest in Dhaka on February 24, 2017 demanding the removal of a Greek sculpture from the premises of Supreme Court. Similar protests were staged in Chittagong and Narayanganj on the same day. AFP