Bangladeshi fundamentalists incite anti-gay violence

Riaz Osmani, a Bangladeshi activist currently living in London, writes:

Logo of Basherkella (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
Logo of Basherkella (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Below is a screenshot of a Facebook page of a Bangladeshi Islamic fundamentalist group called Basherkella. That page is the online face of the discredited political party called Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir.

That party once opposed Bangladesh’s independence and assisted the Pakistani army in the genocide of Bengalis in the 1971 independence war, a crime for which there is now a war crimes tribunal going on in Bangladesh. Followers of this political party wish to establish Islamic rule in the country in violation of the country’s secular constitution. As part of their plan to establish and safeguard Islam in the country, they have been at the forefront of spearheading hatred of and incitement to violence against Bangladeshi atheists, liberals, free thinkers and now gays.

Screen shot of Basherkella's Facebook page, which called on Muslims to attack gays: "Whoever you find, beat them with shoes and hand them over to the police."
Screen shot of Basherkella’s Facebook page, which called on Muslims to attack gays: “Whoever you find, beat them with shoes and hand them over to the police.”

In the screenshot, Basherkella is advocating the type of violence that eventually led to the killing of Xulhaz Mannan and Tonoy Mojumdar. The page is in Bangla; I have provided a translation below. Reporting Basherkella to Facebook for such incitement to violence has resulted in nothing, since Facebook has no idea what they are saying.

Please read the translation. It is very disheartening to see the kind of venom they are spreading.

[The following post by Basherkella appeared on April 12, 2016, shortly before the planned Rainbow Rally on April 14, which was cancelled because of such threats from Islamic extremists.]

We need a strong social movement and awareness. In our country, even young school children are becoming gay by being affected by other gays. It is us who need to save our children from this mental degeneration. Urging everyone to come forward regarding this. Please spread around the word of our request to you.

Homosexuals are the poison seed of the country. They are mentally deranged. It is futile to keep them even in the mad house. If we do, then that would ruin the inmates. Same thing if we imprison them. A huge portion of them are engaged in this endeavour. And this will take epidemic proportions soon. The worst thing is you don’t know that your own child is a homosexual. Please keep an eye out for your offsprings.

Young impressionable children are getting misguided in this path due to a satanic conspiracy. Others are getting affected them in return. It is now time to destroy this conspiracy root and branch.

Bangladesh’s penal code 377 says that anyone who willingly engages in a sexual act with a man, woman or beast that is against the laws of nature is liable to life imprisonment or ten years imprisonment with a fine.

It is possible to resist these people with the law. Ignoring 377 of the constitution means ignoring the constitution altogether. That is why we should break the bones of these anti-constitution people wherever you see them. If anyone says anything – just say that it is the responsibility of every citizen to protect the constitution.

Those who are involved in promoting homosexuality are planning to conduct a rainbow rally in Shahbag on Bangla New Year’s Day. Therefore if you see a rainbow carrying person around you, you will know that these are the hated gays, they are criminals and they are those who disobey the constitution. You must hate them, boycott them and hand them over to law enforcement agencies after beating them with shoes.

If you wish to save our country, our social values and our religious beliefs then you must come forward. Come to Shahbag in the Bangla New Year’s Day. Whoever you find, beat them with shoes and hand them over to the police.

— Comrade Mahmood

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at

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