Bangladesh star Shakib apologises after Islamist threats

photo Bangladesh

DHAKA, BANGLADES – Star Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan has been forced to make a public apology after receiving Islamist threats for attending a Hindu ceremony in neighbouring India.

The leading all-rounder is the latest target of increasingly vocal Islamists who have also staged huge anti-France rallies in recent weeks over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Shakib, who has recently completed a year’s ban from cricket for failing to report corrupt approaches, set off a storm of social media protests in the Muslim majority country after attending a ceremony in Kolkata dedicated to a Hindu goddess.

Islamic preachers in Bangladesh say people should not attend the ceremonies of other faiths.

“As a practising Muslim

“I was on the stage for for barely two minutes. People are talking about this and thought I inaugurated it,” Shakib told an online forum late Monday.

“I did not do this and being a conscious Muslim I would not do this. But, maybe, I should not have gone there. I am sorry for this and apologise,” he said.

“As a practising Muslim I always try to follow religious customs. Please forgive me if I have done anything wrong,” he added.

Shakib spoke hours after a man made personal threats against him on a Facebook live forum for “hurting religious sentiment”. The man later apologised and went into hiding.

Police said they are trying to arrest the man and were searching for a knife that was brandished during the forum.

Shakib, currently the International Cricket Council’s top-ranked all-rounder in one-day internationals, was found in October 2019 to have breached the ICC anti-corruption code and was banned for two years, with one year suspended.

In 2015, Shakib became the first cricketer in history to hold the ICC top all-rounder ranking in all three formats of the game — Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 internationals.

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© Agence France-Presse

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