Bangladesh is about 90 per cent Muslim but officially, it’s supposed to be a secular country. Even so, large areas of the rural countryside have become increasingly fundamentalist and in the process, less tolerant.
Islamists recently expressed outrage over a statue of a blindfolded woman holding the scales of justice outside the supreme court of Bangladesh.
The Islamist group, Hefazat-e-Islam, declared this work of art haram because a statue represents false idolatry, a big no-no for the Sharia set, and the image of an inferior woman in a position of power likely only added insult to injury.
So it was they demanded the removal of Lady Justice amid threats of trouble if authorities didn’t comply.
She was taken down in the middle of the night prompting justified outrage among secular Bangladeshis, so to compromise, the government put the statue 300 metres away from the courthouse.
It’s now in a far less prominent position, and can no longer be viewed from the street. In effect, Lady Justice was burqa’d.
Lady justice is symbolic of an unbiased and impartial justice system but bullies and thugs got their way again by making the powers-that-be relocate the statue.
But, if the Supreme Court of Bangladesh caved to Islamist hooligans angered over a statue, how would you feel if you were on trial for blasphemy or heresy based on some perceived insult to Mohammed or Allah?
I wouldn’t feel very confident about receiving a fair trial because if Islamist zealots go bonkers over an inanimate object, just imagine how they’d react to a real-life infidel?