More hatred and violence

The New York Times reports on communal violence in Bangladesh.

Crowds of Muslims attacked Hindu homes and temples in eastern Bangladesh this week, raising concerns that the authorities are not taking steps to curb rising religious tensions.

Attacks on Hindus are not unusual in Bangladesh, but it is rare to see multiple crowds targeting temples in an organized way as they did on Sunday and Monday. The country’s human rights commission has initiated an inquiry into the episodes, which the panel’s chairman says appear to have been coordinated.

On Saturday, an Islamic group in Nasirnagar organized a protest against a Facebook post it found offensive. The post included an image of the Hindu god Shiva appearing at a Muslim holy site in the Saudi city of Mecca.

A Facebook post. Ffs.

The crowd demanded that the young Hindu man who created the image be put to death. Nevertheless, the group was given permission to hold a rally the next day, and mosque loudspeakers were used to mobilize an even larger group, said Anjan Kumar Deb, the vice chairman of Nasirnagar subdistrict.

On Sunday, hundreds of Muslims entered a Hindu neighborhood, where they ransacked 15 temples and the homes of more than 100 families, Mr. Deb said. He said that the mob “used long, hard sticks and locally made sharp weapons” to assault Hindus they found there, and that at least 20 people, including a priest, were wounded.

Because one guy did a Facebook post. Can human beings not grow up?!

The Hindu youth who is believed to have posted the controversial image was arrested on Saturday.

Of course he was.

Hindus make up about 11 percent of the population of Bangladesh, where Muslims constitute the majority, according to government statistics.

Kazi Reazul Hoque, the head of the country’s human rights commission, said local officials made a “gross mistake” by allowing the crowd to regroup Sunday morning. Bangladeshi newspapers offered similar criticism. The Daily Star, in an editorial on Wednesday, called the government’s inaction “baffling.”

“Has the government lost confidence that the majority of the people of this country, although religious, believe in a pluralistic society?” the editorial asked.

Bangladesh is a tragedy.

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