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Bangladesh: prelate fears ‘militant and radical Islamism’ as Christians beaten, bomb hits church

Catholic World News - January 09, 2014

Amid national unrest, Bangladesh’s leading prelate said that he fears the rise of “militant and radical Islamism.”

The nation’s leading opposition party and its allied Islamist parties boycotted recent elections. In one district, Catholics were attacked by Islamic zealots when they defied the boycott to cast their ballots.

“The social and political situation remains tense,” said Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka. “As Christians, we did not experience any particular problem, but a bomb hit a church in Dhaka, causing little damage and no casualties.”

“The danger of militant and radical Islamism -- raised by observers -- is real,” he added. “In recent months, radical Islamic organizations have raised their voice: we will see how the situation evolves.”

After the archbishop released his statement, the AsiaNews service reported that 8 Catholics were injured, and 3 hospitalized, after they were beaten by Islamic fundamentalists for participating in the elections. Christian homes were torched during the attack, and the Islamic militants vowed that they would return and destroy the remaining homes. Among those hospitalized after the violence in the Jamalpur district was Sonendra Kubi, the older brother of Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi of Mymensigh. The bishop's brother is reported in serious condition.

The south Asian nation of 164 million is nearly 90% Muslim and nearly 10% Hindu; 0.2% of the population is Catholic.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 09, 2014 7:42 AM ET USA

    "The danger of militant and radical Islam....?" This implies there is some other kind. It should be obvious to all by now that, were violence not central to Mohammedanism and its so-called "holy book", a nation 90% Muslim like Bangladesh wouldn't tolerate the rise in its midst of thugs and murderers; "extremists" cannot succeed without popular support. My bet -- hardly a risky one -- is that the murderers and thugs will prevail here just as they eventually do in every Muslim-dominated country.

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