Thursday 26 May 2022
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Rumour spread in Bangladesh: Hindus have killed Muskan Khan in India

Many a rumour threatens to disturb peace in Bangladesh, as social media users often come across videos of mobs hitting the streets, provoked by some false claim that someone has cast aspersions on Islam

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Muskan Khan, the woman who raised the slogan of “Ällah u Akbar” in February in Mandya of Karnataka, has been murdered by kafir Hindus — is a rumour spreading like a wildfire in the Islamic Republic of Bangladesh. And the people spreading this news are supposed to be knowledgeable men whom the local population of Muslims looks up to for guidance.

This is a conspiracy to incite mob violence against Hindus in Bangladesh, a Twitter user, “Voice of Bangladeshi Hindus”, pointed out, sharing screenshots of images of such social media posts.

The tweet carries an image of Muskan Khan as an Islamist activist, from the screengrab of a video that had gone viral in February. It carries an image also of the cleric Asadullah Madani who made the provocative false claim.

The screenshot from the post in a Facebook group “Priya Brahmanbariya” shows Madani writing in Bangla (translated), “Muskan is no more. The girl who had moved the world by raising the slogan of ‘Állahu Akbar’ in India has been murdered by kafirs. O Allah, please give her a place in paradise. Amen!”

Muskan Khan had created this fracas when PES College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Mandya had denied her entry into the college wearing her burqa amid the hijab row.

Those who believe that Bangladeshi Muslims are a different breed that prioritises the Bengali identity over their religious urge may note that clerics in Bangladesh had called on fellow religionists to avoid celebrating Poila Baishakh, the Bengali New Year, before 15 April, describing it as a “Hindu practice” and setting the stage for a fresh confrontation with secular groups and the ruling Awami League. That was the latest instance of Bangladeshi Muslims going on the path of confrontation with the minuscule population of Hindus in that country. On this occasion, they branded the Sheikh Hasina Wazed government as an “agent of India” and “murtad” (apostate).

About six months before the conflict above, mobs had attacked arenas where Durga Puja was being organised in different parts of Bangladesh. An Iskcon centre bore the brunt of the riotous mob while it later turned out that the riot was provoked by a rumour too — that a certain Hindu had insulted Muslims by placing a copy of the Qurán at the feet of an idol of Hanuman. The claim was false, of course.

Many a rumour threatens to disturb in Bangladesh, as social media users often come across videos of mobs hitting the streets, provoked by some false claim that someone has cast aspersions on Islam.

They attack fellow Muslims too — if strictures of Islam are not adhered to. When the Awami League decided to erect Mujibur Rahman’s statues in his birth centenary year, the radicals hit the streets to unleash a campaign. When that was curbed by the police, they took recourse to a fresh spell of street protests, first against the crackdown on radicals in France and then to protest the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the country’s celebrations last year.

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