A group of suspected Islamist terrorists murdered a university professor who had previously called for a ban on full-face coverings.
The incident occurred in the Muslim-majority country of Bangladesh, and police are reportedly questioning two individuals who are suspected of carrying out the murder near the campus of Rajshahi University.
“We are working on several possible motives behind the killing,” but the “main focus” was that Islamist jihadists were the likely perpetrators, Police Commissioner Mahbubur Rahman told AFP.
A group called Ansar al Islam Bangladesh has surfaced on social media, claiming responsibility for the murder.
Ansar al Islam Bangladesh (Facebook)
“Our Mujahideens have today murdered an apostate who had prohibited students from wearing veils in his department and the classrooms,” said the posting. “Beware all the anti-Islamic apostates and atheists!” the Facebook post urged.
The group quoted a Sunnah [teaching of the Prophet Muhammad] in the Quran as proof that their assassination of the professor was justified under Islamic law.
The man who was hacked to death, Professor Shafiul Islam, was reportedly a member of the Baul movement, which has been described as a humanist sect that borrows from the peaceful sentiments of Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.
A group of students and teachers were reportedly outraged by the brutal murder, and lined the streets in protest shortly after hearing about the killing.
Roughly 90% of Bangladeshi citizens follow Islam. 9% follow Hinduism, and the remaining 1% are a mixture of Buddhists and Christians