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Bangladesh: Hindu Households Ignited in Nasirnagar due to a Facebook Post that kindled Communal Tension

The unrest caused is a result of a Facebook post by a local youth, Rasraj Das, which was considered defamatory

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Representational Image, Pixabay

Bangladesh, November 5, 2016: Amidst the tension and chaos over the attacks on Hindu community, anonymous assailants incinerate five houses in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria district in Bangladesh on Friday. The attacks took place around 3AM and then around 6:30PM.

The razed homes were in the villages of Banikpara, Jaynagar Pashchimpara and Hashpatalpara. The houses were lighted up around 3am but there were no casualties or injuries. The villagers from these neighboring villages said, the fire started in sheds and kitchens. The next attack was around 6:30pm in Chotipara under the Gukorno union.

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A respected resident, Manoranjan Banik told Dhaka Tribune about the close call he had with the fire in his household in Banikpara. He says that he has never felt such helplessness in his life. The attack happened a while after they had returned from a funeral, his daughter told Dhaka Tribune.

In Hashpatalpara, a son alerted his family after discovering a fire in the kitchen which was next to his room. He told Dhaka tribune that he woke up on smelling fire and then alerted everyone in the house.

On investigating the scenes, the Upazila Nirbahi Officer Chowdhury Md Moazzem Hossain said that although 11 homes were burnt, the crimes took place in 5 of them out of which one had a shrine.

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The unrest caused is a result of a Facebook post by a local youth, Rasraj Das, which was considered defamatory. The attacks occurred even after Das apologized and claimed that his account had been hacked. The assaults were incited by mosques which announced through megaphones in their areas telling the people how a Hindu had defamed the Holy Kaaba. The locals told the Dhaka Tribune that they heard declarations in several villages out of which Norpur, Asurain and Phulpur are home to Muslim radicals.

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The escalating violence has left the people distraught. They fear that the next wave of attacks might be a direct hit on their lives instead of their households or properties. Many families have relocated or crossed the border after the attacks. The ones who have not are caged inside their homes because of the terror of attacks. The Hindus who did not flee during the 1971 Liberation War after many of them were slaughtered now think it was their last chance to escape and save themselves.

– prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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Sport Hijab: A Sportswear Solution for Muslim Woman and Girls

Hijab, a head or body covering that conforms to Islamic standards of modesty.

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Sport Hijab, Sportswear Solution
Many young Muslim girls when they start playing sports, can’t focus completely on the game, because they are also focus on their hijab. Pixabay

When in public, Muslim woman and girls may wear a hijab, a head or body covering that conforms to Islamic standards of modesty. These women may also want to participate in sports without compromising their religion and clothing, and with a sport hijab, they can do just that.

Fatimah Hussein is co-founder of ASIYA (pr. ah-SEE-yah), an activewear company that is changing the lives of Muslim girls and women by producing culturally-appropriate athletic wear. Hussein owns the business with partner Jamie Glover, and the company is named after a woman revered in Islamic history.

“Many young Muslim girls when they start playing sports, can’t focus completely on the game, because they are also focus on their hijab. They either take it off or don’t play,” Hussein says. “They didn’t have any accessibility of a sport hijab that they felt very comfortable with. Many hijabs require pins as fasteners. When playing a sport, hijabs can be hot and unwieldy. If it comes unraveled, another player could trip on it, or the pin could jab the wearer or others, making it dangerous for everyone. So, I was like, there should be some kind of a solution for this,” says Hussein.

A sports hijab was the answer. ASIYA markets hijabs that are for fast paced physical activity. The headwear is made from a sweat-wicking fabric, designed to be comfortable and safe for play.

Sport Hijab, Sportswear Solution
ASIYA Sport. VOA

Hussein, a Muslim woman was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and came to the United States at age six with her parents and sister, fleeing civil war. She says that she played sports in school as a child but was preoccupied with thoughts of her hijab.

“This doesn’t look right, this is falling, I don’t feel comfortable inside,” she says she remembers thinking.

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Hussein is still involved with sports in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her free time, she is a basketball coach. She is also a licensed social worker.

“A lot of girls in our community want to try new things and play sports, but they aren’t confident, says Hussein. “They’re constantly told they shouldn’t be doing something boys are able to do, they get intimidated,” she says.

Hussein also found an indoor neighborhood gym for girls to play sports on their own.

She also established Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports (G.I.R.L.S), a nonprofit program for Muslim girls.

Sport Hijab, Sportswear Solution
ASIYA Sport. VOA

Hussein talks frequently of identity, community, and taking pride in being a Muslim. She says the hijab is important for Muslim women.

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“It makes a statement about her identity. Anyone who sees her will know that she is a Muslim, she is modest and has a good moral character,” says Hussein.

Sport Hijab, Sportswear Solution
Fatimah Hussein, CEO & Co-Founder of Asiya. VOA

Hussein says ASIYA is helping to break down barriers for Muslim girls who want to participate in sports.

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“We view ASIYA as a social venture looking to increase participation rates, as we believe there is huge value in sports participation for young girls in developing critical skills that set them up for success later in life.” (VOA)