Leaders of the radical group of Bangladesh called Hefazat-e-Islam have threatened to stage demonstrations in the capital city Dhaka and the port city Chittagong if their demand for the removal of a newly sculpted sculpture depicting the Greek goddess Themis (an allegorical embodiment of the moral force in judicial systems) removal is not met.
The Leaders of the Qawmi madrasa-based organization have made the demand following a press conference at Chittagong Press Club recently. To press home their demand, the Hefazat leaders have announced they would submit a memorandum to the nation’s prime minister and chief justice on valentine’s day.
With the intent of spreading Shariah law in Bangladesh, the radical organization have declared that it would stage demonstrations and bring out processions from the National Mosque following Friday prayers on the last week of February.
The newly erected Sculpture of the Lady of Justice (Themis) stands ground in the Bangladesh Supreme Court premise.
Terming the new female sculpture as “anti-Islamic & obscene” the radical group have claimed that this is not a sculpture but an idol which can be worshipped. “Moreover, it IS the idol of a Greek goddess. As per the tenets of Islam, one cannot remain a Muslim if one believes the goddess is a symbol of justice. Only the Holy Qur’an can be the symbol of justice,” the radical group leader has stated, adding that their protest is not against art or sculpture.
“Sculptures can be installed but should represent the history, culture and traditions of a Muslim-majority country. We are not against the installation of sculptures like the Qur’an, paddy, jute or Mecca and Madina,” he added.
The radical group leader has also said that erecting the Lady of Justice on the grounds of the Supreme Court violates sections 2(A) and 23 of the Bangladesh Constitution. The sculpture portrays the ancient Greek goddess Themis, holding a scale and a sword to represent the law and undisputed order.
The Greek God Themis is described as “of good counsel”, and is the personification of divine order, law, natural law and custom. According to the Hesiod, she was the second wife of Zeus, a marriage that helped Zeus to stabilize his power over all Gods and Humanity.