Bangladesh Islamic groups called Monday for a nationwide protest against Muhammad Yunus over comments in 2012 supporting gay rights, in the latest attack against the Nobel laureate and micro-loan pioneer.
The country’s main mosque and an Islamic group with links to the government have launched a campaign against Yunus, whom they say should be prosecuted for supporting homosexuals in this deeply conservative Muslim country.
Hundreds of imams, many of whom are on the government’s payroll, are expected to take part in the peaceful street protests on Tuesday, according to organisers, who claim rallies will be held in 600 towns across the country.
“Yunus must apologise for supporting homosexuality or he must be prosecuted for standing against the Koran and Islam,” an organiser, Maolana Moniruzzaman Rabbani, told AFP on Monday.
Rabbani, secretary of a committee that helps run the national mosque in Dhaka, said organisers would distribute 600,000 leaflets outlining Yunus’s statement against violence and opposing discrimination against gay people.
The 73-year-old economist made the statement along with three other Nobel laureates in April 2012 following prosecutions of gay people in Uganda.
“We’ll hold a massive rally against Yunus in the capital on October 31,” said Rabbani, who is also secretary general of the Islamic Oikyajote political party, which claims to be allied with the government. see more