Shakib Al Hasan has been forced to make a public apology after receiving Islamic threats.© AFP
Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan has been forced to apologize publicly after receiving Islamic threats for attending a Hindu ceremony in India. The leading all-rounder is the latest target of increasingly boisterous Islamists who have also held major anti-French rallies over the past few weeks about the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Shakib, who recently lifted an annual ban for not reporting corrupt approaches, caused a storm on social media in the country with a Muslim majority after attending a ceremony in Kolkata dedicated to a Hindu goddess.
Islamic preachers in Bangladesh say that people should not attend the ceremonies of other religions.
“I was on the podium for barely two minutes. People talk about this and thought I inaugurated it,” Shakib told an online forum late Monday.
“I didn’t do this and being a conscious Muslim I wouldn’t do this. But maybe I shouldn’t have gone there. I’m sorry for this and apologize,” he said.
“As a practicing Muslim, I always try to follow religious customs. Forgive me if I have done anything wrong,” he added.
Shakib spoke hours after a man personally threatened him on a live Facebook forum, accusing him of “hurting religious feelings.” The man later apologized and went into hiding, but was arrested on Tuesday in the northeastern district of Sunamganj.
Shakib, currently the International Cricket Council’s top-ranked all-rounder on one-day internationals, was found to have violated the ICC Anti-Corruption Code in October 2019 and was banned for two years, suspended with one year.
In 2015, he became the first cricket player to hold the ICC’s top all-rounder in the game’s three formats: Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.
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