Lady Justice, a stainless-steel statue of a blindfolded woman holding the scales of justice, was removed from Bangladesh’s Supreme Court premises recently due to intense pressure from Islamist hardliners. Though the country is ostensibly ruled by secular law, the influence of radical Islam has been rapidly and dramatically increasing of late. Hefazat-e-Islam, a vast Islamic organization, had, through angry, swelling protests, recently pushed for the removal of the statue. The group avows that any art depicting living beings or the human form is proscribed by Islam. Islamists oppose idol worship, with the obvious exception of Muhammed, and considered the presence of the Lady Justice statue to be anti-Islamic. This makes some “sense,” given that radical Islamists prefer dead beings and hiding human forms, especially female ones.
Mrinal Haque, the statue’s sculptor, said the removal was shocking to him, and called it an “injustice,” even comparing his feelings about the statues removal to those that he experienced upon the death of his mother. A handful of brave students marched down a street at nearby Dhaka University after Lady Justice was deposed, however police stymied them with barbed-wire fences and volleys of tear gas. Yet another government had acquiesced to feral thugs.
Two days after the statue was removed, Bangladeshi authorities partially reversed their earlier decision, decreeing that the statue be put back up in a remote Supreme Court annex building, where it is unable to be seen from the street. Hefazat-e-Islam maintains that the statue represents Themis, the Greek goddess of justice, an assertion Mr. Haque denies. Apparently, both parties are uncomfortable with justice. Not a good sign.
Hefazat-e-Islam’s leader, Shah Ahmad Shafi, expressed his frustration with the move: “It was not an issue whether Themis would be in front of the Supreme Court or at the back side of the Supreme Court,” Shafi said. “The issue was whether Themis would exist or not, whether this symbol would be removed from Bangladesh forever.”
To radical Islamists, it is never about location or compromise. It is about the (your) right to exist. Which, to them, doesn’t exist. It is about Western culture’s removal from…the face of the Earth…forever. It is no wonder they wanted a statue bearing the scales of justice removed. They don’t believe in either.
Hefazat-e-Islam has subsequently issued a demand for all representational statues to be removed from public spaces on a nationwide basis.
To be fair, we hear in the States are also busily removing statues of historical figures and cow-towing to the whims of the Muslim minority.
Someone once said: “The wheels of justice turn slowly...”
And in the wrong direction.