The BNP has lent ‘moral support’ to Hifazat-e-Islam’s long-march from Chittagong to Dhaka scheduled for Apr 6, demanding punishment for the ‘atheist bloggers’.
Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir informed
reporters of the party’s support at a press briefing at its Naya Paltan
headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday afternoon.
“Recently a handful of
misguided bloggers have been attacking the religious faith and sentiment of the
country’s majority people in an offensive and vulgar way, which is not
acceptable. This kind of activities is a serious threat to the country’s
stability, peace and communal harmony,” he said.
Alems-Ulamas-Pirs-Mashayekhs have expressed their concerns over this matter.
They have demanded legal measures against those blasphemous bloggers. We, the
18-Party alliance, are giving our full moral support to their logical
Asked to clarify their position on supporting Hifazat’s long
march, Fakhrul said, “I have already said their demand and programmes have our
full moral support.”
Hifazat-e-Islami, a radical Jamaat-e-Islami-backed
group based in Chittagong, had announced the long march demanding justice
against ‘atheists and blasphemous bloggers’.
The group came down hard on
Shahbagh’s Ganajagaran Mancha for demanding maximum punishment for all convicted
war criminals and a ban on Jamaat.
Terming the Shahbagh protesters,
mainly bloggers and online activists, ‘atheist’, Hifazat chief Ahmad Shafi had
called for the ‘resistance’.
He had announced a general strike in the
port city on the same day the Ganajagaran Mancha was set to hold a rally there.
The Shahbagh protesters had to postpone the rally after police barred
After Hifazat, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had also called
the movement a ‘movement of the atheists’.
The government has also urged
Hifazat to postpone its programme assuring them of legal measures against those
who defamed Islam and its Prophet Hazrat Muhammad.
But rejecting the
government’s call, Ahmad Shafi said around 3,000 Alems have already been invited
to join the programme. That’s why the programme cannot be postponed.
also threatened of tougher movement if the government obstructed their
After his group raised the demand, the government had formed a
committee to observe the activities of the bloggers. Three bloggers were
arrested late on Monday night on charges of making inflammatory postings on the
internet on sensitive religious issues.
Asked for his reaction to the
arrests, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “I don’t know those who were arrested
whether they are misguided or not. It must be thoroughly seen that the
government is not just giving eyewash to control the situation. I cannot say
anything right now.”
The BNP spokesperson said, “We don’t want to turn
this issue into a political one. We just want to make sure that no one can hurt
the religious sentiments of the people.”
“But we condemn the way the
government has created a serious situation by patronising those who are hurting
the religious sentiments of the majority people,” he