BNP backs Hifazat’s long march
Published: 2013-04-02 13:22:58.0 BdST Updated: 2013-04-02 15:05:35.0 BdST
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’.
“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.
“The 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 demand.”
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 gatherings.
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.
He also threatened of tougher movement if the government obstructed their programme.
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 added.
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