Militant violence in Bangladesh
The violent excesses committed by Islamist groups have given rise to great concern among many Bangladeshis, according to a local Catholic leader.
Referring to events that occurred in Dhaka on Sunday, May 5, the Archbishop of Dhaka, Patrick D’Rozario, made his comments during a telephone conversation with international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Archbishop D’Rozario said, "The largest opposition party, the 'Bangladesh Nationalist Party' (BNP) supported this. Clearly the plan behind it all was to topple the government. It is intended to trigger chaos by means of violence."
According to the Archbishop the background is a power struggle within Islam, "There is a dispute as to what Islam is. The protest is being carried along by Islamist groups. They have put forward 13 demands which lie completely outside the constitution.”
“No Bangladeshi with a normal education supports this, only militant groups who are based entirely on the Islamic schools," the archbishop insisted.
Christians were not affected by the most recent excesses, Archbishop D’Rozario claimed.
In a joint declaration, which was also positively received by Muslims, the Christian churches in Bangladesh called for a day of prayer, fasting and penitence on June 1.
Archbishop D’Rozario said, "We call on all Bangladeshis who bear responsibility in politics and society to turn to the country's poor. If we do this, we will really be able to change society for the benefit of all."
Furthermore the Archbishop explained, "The simple people here have actually always lived together peacefully. That is a part of our culture and tradition. The conflicts tend to be brought into the country from outside."