Sex worker in Bangladesh: Won’t perform last rites for a sex worker again
07:29 PM, February 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:53 PM, February 18, 2020

‘Won’t perform last rites for a sex worker again’

Says Imam who broke tradition and led the funeral prayers for a sex worker in Daulatdia just at the beginning of this month

The imam who broke tradition to lead the funeral prayers for a sex worker in Daulatdia in the beginning of this month today said he will never do the same again, according to BBC Bangla.

The man who conducted the janaza prayers for Hamida Begum on February 12, said he has been subjected to immense criticism since then.

Golam Mostafa, the imam of Daulatdia Rail Station Mosque, buried Hamida Begum, making her the first sex worker to receive a formal Islamic funeral in Bangladesh, where prostitution is legal but regarded by many as immoral.

The imam said he had initially not wanted to perform the last rites and only did so after pressure from law enforcers.

"People are talking here. Villagers, shopkeepers; everyone is criticising me," the imam told BBC Bangla.

When Hamida Begum died, her family planned to put her in an unmarked grave -- standard practice for women like her -- but a coalition of sex workers persuaded the local police to talk religious leaders into giving her a proper burial.

On the day of her burial, scores of women gathered at the graveside, weeping for the 65-year-old's passing, but also because of the symbolic breakthrough her burial represented, reports AFP.

"I never dreamed that she would get such an honourable farewell," said Begum's daughter Laxmi, who followed her mother into the trade.

"My mother was treated like a human being," she added.

Islamic spiritual leaders have for decades rejected funeral prayers for sex workers because they view prostitution as immoral.

 

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