Bangladesh arrests social media star for dance video at mosque

Yasin (second from left) was seen in the video dancing with a woman on the stairs of the Daudkandi Model Mosque.
Yasin (second from left) was seen in the video dancing with a woman on the stairs of the Daudkandi Model Mosque.PHOTO: AFP

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh police have arrested a social media star for shooting a dance video with a woman at a mosque, officials said on Monday (Aug 9).

The clip triggered online anger in the Muslim-majority nation, the police said, and 20-year-old Yasin was arrested at his home in Daudkandi, some 60km from Dhaka.

The police said they are also hunting the woman in the video.

Yasin shot the clip last month and uploaded it to his account on the Likee video sharing site.

He was seen in the video dancing with a woman on the stairs of the Daudkandi Model Mosque, one of 50 Muslim places of worship built recently by the government.

His account has since been suspended, but the police said Yasin's dance videos had drawn more than 940,000 followers.

"He was arrested under the digital security law for hurting people's religious sentiments," town police chief Aminul Islam told AFP, adding that the dancing had "desecrated the mosque".

The police in Bangladesh, which is officially secular, have arrested scores of people for hurting religious sentiment, including many Hindus and followers of other minority faiths accused of defaming the Quran or posting comments that could hurt religious feelings.

In September, a Hindu man was jailed for seven years for insulting the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook.

Others accused of blasphemy in Bangladesh, including several secular bloggers, have been jailed or faced attacks by radical Islamists in recent years.