When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent (become Muslim) and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful. – Quran 9:5
GOD does not forgive idolatry, but He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who sets up idols beside GOD, has forged a horrendous offense. – Quran 4:48
There is a saying that is popular in the West, and only because it better applies to our own holocausts, that “where they burn books they will burn people”, and maybe this saying is true. However, for Hindus, especially those living in the Islamic State of Bangladesh, the more appropriate and visceral call to defense is “where they break idols, they will try to break Hindus”.
Islam is very subtly woven in the Bangladeshi Constitution, as the document does claim that Bangladesh is a “secular democracy”, however, the Constitution also states that Islam is the state religion, it references both “Allah” and the “Koran”, and it is the state’s objective to: “consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.” So when Bangladeshi politicians say Bangladesh is “secular”, this is what they mean.
Those who have been following JFH know that Bangladeshi Hindus of course have a long and bloody history of continuous pogroms under Muslim rule. Less than 1000 years ago, Bangladeshi was a majority Hindu, tribal, Vedic and otherwise native land, however, as did happen in all of Northern India, Islamic Invasions from West Asia and the establishment of a tyrannical Islamic theocracy over Northern India wiped out or converted the majority of Bangladeshi Hindus.
By the time of partition in 1947, Bangladeshi Hindus made up approximately 30% of the Bangladeshi population, today they make up less than 9%. From targeted genocides, to the kidnapping of Hindu girls, the expulsions and land grabs, the Radical Muslims of Bangladesh have been systematically cleansing the Hindus of Bangladesh for the past 70 years. It is estimated that in this time, 49 million Hindus have gone “missing” from Bangladesh.
Every year, hundreds of Hindu homes, temples, shops and schools are burned, looted, and destroyed by Muslim mobs. However, there is of course another sort of crime that is very specific, the destruction of Hindu “idols”. Hindus more usually call their idols “murtis” as they know “idol” caries negative connotations. However, the meaning is the same, it is a representation of a “god” or energy which is believed to hold some sort of field force which emanates the power of the idea to which the idol is associated.
While murtis and idols are not a necessary prescription in Hinduism (the Vedas have no idols), they have become ubiquitous and synonymous with Hinduism in the modern age. Idolatry, is of course however, violently prohibited in Islam, the Koran calls for Muslims to mass murder idolaters until they convert to Islam and idolatry is described as the worst sin a person can commit. As one can guess, the purposeful destruction of idols is very common in Bangladesh.
On Sunday night, 17 Sept 2017, a group of Muslim men entered a Hindu temple which had been the site of intensive worship over the past few days, and vandalized three idols including the goddess Durga who was the focus of the temple’s devotion at this time. The local Hindu community has not been made to feel safe or protected by the local authorities and have been frightened to continue with their worship. The Durga Temple was located in Shajalpur Traditional Para 7 Ward of Birganj City under Dinajpur District. The Birgani Police Station has not responded to community phone calls.
This is certainly not the first attack on Hindu idols in Bangladesh in some time, and there is enough violence in BD for Hindus to understand that this is not the worst that could happen to them, however, Islamic Iconoclasm strikes deeper into the heart of the community than does even physical violence. When Muslim mobs enter a temple, and only destroy the idol and nothing else, they are speaking most profoundly to Hindus of their absolute hatred.
When one reads the anthologies of the Muslim rulers of Bangladesh and India, they speak constantly of their hatred for the “idolaters” and their willingness to slaughter them in the millions for Allah. Idolatry is the one thing the Koran admits Muslims must hate the most, the greatest sin on which they are to unleash the greatest carnage. When Muslims destroy idols, Hindus are reminded of the darkest ignorance and rage that Islam has to unleash. When people burn books, pay attention, when people smash idols, think of the Hindus of Bangladesh please.