Must be stopped.
Priorities. “8 Muslims arrested for damaging Dhaka,” by Julhas Alam for the Associated Press, November 30 (thanks to S):
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) “” Police in Bangladesh’s capital arrested eight members of a hard-line Islamic group for damaging a large outdoor sculpture of a group of white storks, an official said Sunday.
Alam Badshah, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police official, said the men were arrested late Saturday during the attack in Dhaka’s Motijheel commercial district. All eight are members of the little-known Muslim group Ulama Anjumane Al Baiyeniat, he said.
Members of the group, which considers sculptures to be a form of idol worship, clashed with security officials who stopped their attack on the statue, he said.
The men, armed with shovels and hammers, damaged the stone base of the 41-foot (12.5-meter) sculpture of six storks after they were unable to pull it down with ropes, Badshah said.
About 100 members of the group gathered nearby and distributed leaflets encouraging action against anti-Islamic activities, he said.
The melee left several people, including some group members, injured. Two of the detainees were being treated at a hospital, Badshah said.
He said the eight faced charges of creating chaos and attacking security officials.
It was unclear why they chose now to attack the statue, which has stood at a road intersection since 1989.
Mrinal Haque, the sculptor, said the statue had nothing to do with Islam.
“It’s a shame, it’s an attack on our secular culture … this is a very innocent artwork,” he told The Associated Press by phone. “It’s like my child.”
Some hard-line Islamic groups in Muslim-majority Bangladesh publicly condemn such sculptures. In October, another group damaged a large statue of mystic poet Lalon Shah outside Dhaka’s Zia International Airport.