Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
New mosque plans spark clashes
At least 50 injured in Muslim, Hindu violenceHindu men try to save a house set ablaze in northwestern Dinajpur district
- By ucanews.com reporter, Dinajpur
- August 6, 2012
Tension has been growing between the two groups for the past several days, since Hindus complained about a planned mosque to be built just meters from Hindu temples.
Authorities imposed a ban on public gatherings, but hundreds of Muslims gathered at the proposed construction site in the Balaibazar area in Chirirbandar sub-district for the start of construction Saturday.
The gathering allegedly turned into an attack that left 50 Hindu men and women seriously injured, 30 homes burned and around 100 cows and goats allegedly stolen.
â€śWe have arrested 17 people so far now for attacking Hindu minorities and vandalizing their homes, but the situation is normalizing since a large number of officers have been deployed since the clashes occurred,â€ť saidÂ police spokesman Tariqul Islam.
According to additional deputy commissioner Azizul Islam, the district administration has provided every victimized family with 5,000 taka (US$61), 20 kgs of rice, and clothes.Â The administration has also withdrawn the chief sub-district official for alleged negligence during the attack, and a committee has also been formed to investigate the incident.
However, the situation remains tense with thousands of minority Hindu people still in fear.
â€śMy home has been burned with all my belongings and valuables. Where will I go with my family during this rainy season?â€ť said Jogen Roy, one of the victims.
Another local Hindu, Nikhil Roy (not real name), said the attack was pre-planned and was intended to destroy communal harmony.
Imam Al-Amin, who is allegedly behind the construction of the new mosque, denied rumors that he had circulated a handbill saying Hindus had vandalized another mosque and asking people to gather on Saturday.
The land for the new mosque belongs to a local Muslim woman, Hamida Banu. Local Union Council chairman Liaqat Ali said they have repeatedly tried to convince Banu to scrap construction plans.
â€śWe told her that the move will destroy longstanding communal harmony and peace,â€ť Ali said.
Muslims account for about 90 percent of Bangladesh's population. The second-largest group, Hindus, account for 8 percent.
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