Friday, May 26, 2017

Greek goddess statue removed in Bangladesh after Islamist outcry

The statue of Themis is in Bangladesh's Supreme Court complexImage copyrightFARHANA PARVIN
Image captionThe removal began late Thursday
Workers have begun to dismantle the statue of a Greek goddess from Bangladesh's Supreme Court complex, after an outcry from Islamists.
The sculpture of Themis - the goddess of justice - wearing a sari was less than six months old, but Islamist groups demanded its removal by Friday.
They claimed it hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and it prompted mass protests in the capital Dhaka.
PM Sheikh Hasina agreed to its removal, but secular groups opposed it.
Activists from an Islamist group participate in a protest calling for the removal of a statue in front of the Supreme Court, in Dhaka on March 3, 2017Image copyrightAFP
Image captionIslamists groups have staged mass rallies demanding the statue be removed
Workers came with equipment and a crane at midnight to uproot the controversial statue, the BBC's Bangla service reported.
The statue is being removed to maintain peace, said its creator Mrinal Haque.
Analysts say this is just a sign of the rising tension between Islamic conservatism and liberal values in Bangladesh. 
Protesters have long asserted that the figure, which held the familiar sword and scales of justice in her hands, amounted to idolatry.

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