Special Correspondent WeeklyBlitz
After the demolition of a sculpture in front of the Zia international aiport in Dhaka by a group of notorious Islamists led by Mufti Noor Hussain Noorani [who leads a group named Khatmey Nabuat Movement, a ferrotious organization responsible for repression of Ahmadiya community in Bangladesh] another kingpin of Islamist millitancy and an open supporter of Al Qaida, Mufti Fazlul Huq Amini has demanded immediate removal of all sculptures from Bangladesh including those monuments erected in memory of the war of independence of the country. It may be mentioned here that, Mufti Amini was a collaborator of Pakistani occupation forces and responsible for murder and rape of numerous Bangladeshis during the war of independence. It may be mentioned here that, Mufti Noor Hussain Noorani violated the State of Emergency and brought out procession on the street of Dhaka, while authorities were reluctant in taking any action against these Islamists for reason unknown.
The zealots at a press conference under the banner of Islami Ain Bastabayan Committee on Friday [17 October] said sculptures and statues were “against Islamic values” and asked the government to remove all such statues or, they threatened to take the matter in their own hands.
The committee convener Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini, also chairman of Islami Oikya Jote – a former component of the BNP-led four-party alliance, issued the threat apparently being encouraged by the government’s submission to their threat and removal of the five sculptures of bauls by two government agencies.
“It [sculptures] has seriously hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims”, Amini said at the news conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity. Accusing the caretaker government of trying to turn the Muslim-majority Bangladesh into a nation of idol worshippers, Amini declared that the people would not accept it as they did not accept “the Awami League government’s attempts to turn Dhaka, the city of mosques, into a city of statues”. He also branded the Shikha Anirban [Eternal Flame] at Dhaka Cantonment and Oporajeyo Bangla at Dhaka University as “anti-Islamic.”
He said that he was not aware if any such statues were set up during the rule of the BNP-led four party alliances of which his party was a partner.
Amini threatened to build up a “tough movement” if the government failed to meet his demands. “The state of emergency or even martial law cannot stop us”, he yelled.
It may be mentioned here that, Mufti Amini is one of the masterminds behind Islamist millitancy in 64,700 madrassas in Bangladesh while he was also a close alliance of banned Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh [JMB]. But, the government although took action against JMB and executed a number of its top kingpins, none of the law enforcing agencies ever interrogated this notorious man for reason unknown. It is learnt that a South Asian espionage agency is giving hidden patronization and funding to Fazlul Huq Amini for rise of Islamist millitancy within the madrassas as well the same agency has also set agenda of demolishing all statues and monuments erected in memory of the war of independence of Bangladesh.
Commenting on destruction of the sculpture and silence of the government, a leading daily newspaper in Dhaka on its editorial said: “Just as we had feared, the military-controlled interim government’s repeated appeasement of Islamist bigots has further strengthened the resolve of the obscurantist groups to destroy our culture and heritage and turn us into an intolerant and medieval society as part of their design to establish Bangladesh as a theocratic state. On Friday, two days after this regime gave in to the demands of the bigots and pulled down a baul monument from in front of the Zia International Airport, a group of these bigots, under the banner of Islami Ain Bastabayan Committee, threatened to demolish all statues and sculptures in our country, even those which commemorate our glorious war of independence.
“While the threat is extremely disturbing in and of itself, we may have been able to afford ourselves the luxury of taking it with a pinch of salt, had the committee of bigots not been led by Fazlul Huq Amini, chairman of the Islami Oikya Jote, which continues to be a component of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four-party alliance. Moreover, the actions of the incumbent raising in continuously aiding and abetting these bigots give us very little confidence that it will stand in the way of such despicable and criminal acts, much less take these bigots to task for their vandalism and vigilantism. Also, while it is true that the present regime has been particularly supportive of these obscurantists and bigots, it must be mentioned that the successive governments in the past have hardly shown the political courage to stand up against these fundamentalist groups. If past is prologue, there seems to be little point in hoping for strong state action against these bigots who threaten to destroy the very democratic fabric of our society.
“What is needed at this time, therefore, is for the democratically-oriented sections of our society to come together to not only thwart the sinister designs of the bigots, but also to put up a renewed struggle to establish Bangladesh on the secular-democratic principles, which was a guiding principle behind our war of national independence. In this regard, we commend those groups which have openly and publicly protested the pulling down of the baul monument by this regime and we urge those groups that have kept their protest restricted thus far to mere press statements to come out and take a stronger stance against these bigots, and their mentors in power. The political forces, particularly the ones conducting our war of independence and the war veterans involved in various political parties, need to realize the Islamist bigots of the day are not talking about religion, rather they are propagating a brand of undemocratic politics through the language of religion. It is, therefore, that the democratically-oriented social and political forces raise their political voice together to fight against the politics of obscurantism pursued by the Islamist bigots and their mentors.”
Meanwhile, two groups of madrassah students, joined in by the students of Arabic, Persian and Urdu departments at Dhaka University, vandalised the vice-chancellor’s office Saturday afternoon.
They also threatened to stop the admission procession if madrassah students were not allowed admission to eight of the departments.
Madrassah Chhatra Andolan Parishad, a platform of madrassah students backed by Islami Chhatra Shibbir, and Madrassah Chhatra Swartha Sangrakshan Parishad went to meet the vice-chancellor, SMA Faiz, at about 2:30pm.
They demanded changes in the process of admission to eight departments of the university as the present system stops them from taking admission to the departments because they could not score the required marks in Bangla and English in secondary and higher secondary exams for admission, they said.
With the next general election scheduled to take place on December 18, sudden rise of Islamist milliancy and flexing of muscle by several pro-Taliban forces in Bangladesh leaves serious threat to country’s security as well as security of anti Islamist forces. It may be mentioned here that, Bangladesh’s present administration is rather reluctant in taking any action against Islamist millitancy and it has been continuing various attempts in suffocating the voice of anti radical forces