It is good to see this sentence handed down. But the condemned men’s statements are noteworthy. These are men who believe deeply in the traditional Islamic death sentence for those who leave the fold. “Bangladesh: Islamic Extremists Face Death for Killing Christian,” from Compass Direct:
December 1 (Compass Direct News) — A court in Bangladesh has sentenced two Islamic extremists to death for murdering Dr. Abdul Gani Gomes, a Christian convert from Islam, in September 2004.
Gomes, 48, was returning from work in the northern town of Duyanipur in Jamalpur district when four militants, including the two convicted men, jumped him and, in their words, “hacked him to death.”
Hafez Mahmud and Mohammad Salauddin are leading figures in the banned Islamic militant group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), according to a BBC report.
Both men confessed to killing Gomes on the orders of JMB leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman. JMB members said they resented Gomes because he had encouraged other Muslims to convert to Christianity.
“I am happy that I killed him,” Salauddin told reporters as he emerged from the courtroom.
The verdict was given on November 9. Mahmud and Salauddin have until December 9 to appeal it.
Compass sources said Gomes” wife, Shahnaz Parvin, also a Christian convert, was present at the trial. In front of the judges, the killers said they would kill her also if she did not convert back to Islam.
Mahmud and Salauddin also threatened Judge Shaheed Noor Uddin, saying their “own” court had already sentenced the judge to death for passing down a guilty verdict.