Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan apologizes after threats over Hindu ceremony

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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.

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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.

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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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