Hindu Nursing Lecturer Hacked to Death for Not Wearing Hijab

The Islamists hacked her to death in broad daylight in Bangladesh and held the horrified onlookers at bay with firearms.

On January 11, 2015, Anjali Devi, 57, was brutally murdered by a group of young men associated with Jamayat-e-Islami.

She was a Hindu, living in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, an honored teacher of nursing at a medical college, a nurse who was concerned with proper hygiene for nurses.

But the Islamist group Jamayat-e-Islami had issued a fatwa demanding that nurses wear hijab. By definition, doing so increases the risk of a nurse carrying a disease from one patient to another and violates operating room procedures. Bangladeshi daily newspaper The Independent reports that police are refusing to officially tie the attack to the group—“We are not pretty sure who the real assassin is, and the motive behind it (murder) is not clear yet.”—but witnesses noted Devi’s opposition to the hijab as the most likely reason for the murder.

When it comes to adhering to Sharia law, Islamists in southeast and central Asia do not care about hygiene. They view this as tainted Western medicine, which dares defy Allah’s will. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, aid workers were murdered for attempting to administer polio vaccines in neighboring Pakistan.

This is the organization that was accused of having committed war crimes during the liberation of Bangladesh. In 2011, the International Crimes Tribunal charged their leaders, in absentia, with genocide, rape, abduction, confinement, and torture. The party was ruled “illegal.” Nevertheless, the student organization remains and is known for extortion, violence, and terrorism. There is a student group that is active at Chittagong College.

Anjali Devi taught at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

Although the Bangladeshi government promised to protect young girls from forced child marriages, in November of 2014, the government did precisely the opposite and lowered the legal age for marriage from 18 to 16. Over one third of all Bangladeshi girls are married before they are 15; UNICEF reports that only “45% of adolescent girls are enrolled in secondary school. Even fewer attend regularly.” In addition, the proposed policy change would “eliminate access to legal recourse for child brides aged 16-18 since they would be legally married and therefore not “child brides.”

When Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1972, the drafters of its constitution considered equal rights for its citizens, including the guarantee of religious freedom. Ultimately, the constitution “acknowledges Islam as the state religion,” even though Article 28 states that “Women shall have equal rights with men in all sphere of the State and of public life.” This “progressive” equality cannot be enforced, particularly in private life, due to the presence of Sharia law.

The Chittagong police have not yet “made any headway in the case” of the murdered nurse.


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