A statue based on the Greek goddess of justice, Themis, donning a saree and clutching a sword and scales has been reinstalled in Bangladesh after being taken down from the front of the Supreme Court after being deemed as “un-Islamic”. Islamists oppose idol worship and consider the Lady Justice statue anti-Islamic.
The statue had been in place since December and had seen a number of protests led by various Islamist groups who claimed that its presence infringed upon Muslims and their religious sentiments, resulting in its removal on Thursday night.
The decision was approved by the leader of the secular Awami League party, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Why shouldn’t it be removed? Don’t they see that it is half-Greek, half-Bengali. It’s Greek-Bengali now. Don’t they see it?” Ms Hasina said.
The statue of Lady Justice was reinstalled on Sunday under the supervision of its sculptor Mrinal Haque with the assistance of 30 workers.
The return of the sculpture is based on a compromise however, the goddess is now erected within the court as opposed to the exterior.
The clash is just one of the mounting tensions between hardliner Islamic groups and secularists in Bangladesh in recent years.