Statues will be pulled down if Islamists come to power Amini threatens

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Sunday, April 19, 2009 09:42 PM GMT+06:00
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Published On: 2008-10-18

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Statues will be pulled down if Islamists come to power Amini threatens

Staff Correspondent
Chairman of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) Fazlul Haq Amini yesterday said statues built by Sheikh Hasina-led past government will be demolished if an Islamic government is formed in the country.

“If we or an Islamic government comes to power, all statues built by Hasina will be pulled down,” Amini, also ameer of Islami Ain Bastabayan Committee (IABC) announced at a news briefing in the afternoon.

IABC organised the conference in Dhaka Reporters’ Unity auditorium.

Amini, however, said he did not know whether Khaleda Zia-led government built any statue.

Alluding to Shikha Onirban, the eternal flame in Dhaka Cantonment in memory of the military personnel martyred in the liberation war, he said the country’s defence forces ‘worship’ fire, against which his organisation had spoken before ‘as the practice is anti-Islamic’.

He threatened to wage a greater movement against the government ‘if it fails to immediately put a stop to the activities that are going on against the country and Islam’.

“The movement will not be deterred by any emergency, martial law, jail or harassment,” he said adding, they cannot remain silent ‘if anti-Islamic activities continue in the name of the state of emergency’.

The IOJ chairman also said statues are being constructed all over the country, and demanded that the government puts a stop to the move.

“We respect laws and we can’t beak the emergency powers rule, but we also can’t tolerate the anti-Islamic activities anymore,” he said.

Talking about the capital city, he blamed past Awami League (AL) regime for ‘its efforts to turn the city of mosque into a city of statues’.

“The present government is also trying to turn the Muslim nation into a country of statues,” he alleged.

He, however, denied allegations that they had protested against sculptures of bauls [folk singers] in front of Zia International Airport and forced the authorities to pull them down.

He also demanded that Dr Taj Hashmi, a teacher of an American college, be declared ‘anti-Islam’, and be expelled from Bangladesh for his writings in a Bangla daily.

Amini accused the caretaker government of failing to hold the election on time and to hand over power to an elected government.

He said the caretaker government enjoyed enormous public support when it assumed office but its position is now questionable.

“There are serious concerns among the people due to some government steps against the country and Islam during the emergency of the last 21 months,” he said.

He also demanded scrapping of the Women Development Policy 2008, and stopping of an alleged move ‘to hand over control of the country’s primary education to Brac’.

IABC leaders Abdul Latif Nezami, Shafiq Uddin, and Abul Kashem were also present

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