As Bangladesh continues to mourn the victims of the brutal attack on a café in Dhaka earlier this month, Christian and Hindu owners of shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses are being threatened with death if they do not comply with a list of eight Islamic rules.
The death threats, contained in a leaflet, were delivered by members of the Islamic Khalafot Mojahidin Bangladesh (Ikmb), an Islamist group banned in Bangladesh.
Albert Prodip Baperi, a Catholic who manages the Sino-Thai Yean Tun restaurant, told AsiaNews: “I will die, but I will not comply with the militants rules”.
Baperi continued: “A stranger handed me this flyer and then moved away from our counter. We reported the incident to the local police station. ”
The directives are clear. Commercial establishments must comply with eight rules:
Their entrance must bear the inscription “Bismillah Rahman Rahim” [the invocation “In the name of Allah, the Clement, the Merciful” the opening lines of the Koran’s surah’s, ed];
They must have a copy of the Koran and display an image of Kaba Sharif, the cubic building in the centre of the mosque in Mecca, considered the holiest place of Islam.
They must also remove paintings or sacred statues of their own religion, have a dedicated space for Muslim customers to pray, not serve forbidden food such as pork, and if Muslims customers order beef in a Hindu restaurant, they must be served beef.
They must also close their restaurants during the month of Ramadan, and not play any music of any kind, except Islamic songs. Women are forbidden to work and, if they must then they must wear a hijab headscarf or bhurka.
The penalty set down for those who refuse to accept these guidelines is death at the hands of Ikmb militants.
- Pray for Bangladesh as it comes to terms with the attack on the Dhaka café. Many non Muslims are fearful of their future in this country with the rise of Islamic extremism. Pray for peace to rule in their hearts and minds, and on the streets of this nation.
- Pray for those who have received the threats and demands from this extreme Islamic group. Pray for their protection, especially as many are choosing to ignore the demands. Pray also that the police will take the threats seriously and actively seek those who are responsible.
- Pray for Christians in Bangladesh to hold fast to their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, especially as pressure against them is on the increase.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move over this land, to turn the hearts of those who seek to persecute Christians to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and cause many in this nation to have life changing encounters with the Living God.
Deuteronomy 3 vs 22: “Do not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’“