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By Charles F. Gritzner

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The third pillar is alms giving to the poor and needy. The fourth pillar is fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed to Mohammad (because the Islamic calendar is different from that used in the West, Ramadan falls during different seasons of the year). The fifth pillar is hajj, a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca in today’s Saudi Arabia, where the holiest structure in Islam, the Ka’ba, or house of God, is located. About 16 percent of the population belongs to the Hindu faith, the dominant religion of neighboring India.

The province called East Bengal and Assam had its capital in Dhaka, the future capital of Bangladesh. Calcutta was designated as the capital of the West Bengal province. East Bengal was more Muslim, while West was more Hindu. However, under pressure from the Hindu population, the two provinces were brought back together as a single province by the British in 1912. This caused even more concern by Muslims in East Bengal, because they saw how the blatant power of the Hindus had 42 042-050_MWN-BANG_04 1/26/07 3:44 PM Page 43 The Rise of Bangladesh been used to influence the British.

He was a brilliant military commander and extended the Mauryan Empire even farther. A war with the Kalinga forces in east-central India resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths at the hand of Ashoka’s army. Upon seeing the large-scale devastation and death, Ashoka was shocked and remorseful. He became opposed to warfare and adopted the peaceful beliefs of Buddhism as his philosophy. C. , and built several monuments to honor the peaceful beliefs of Buddhism. Pictured here is the temple at Bodh Gaya, which was built by Ashoka and is located just to the west of Bangladesh in the state of Bihar.

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