Pro-govt Islamic leaders echo Hifazat demands

A group of pro-government Islamic leaders have demanded a stringent law providing for capital punishment for ‘the bloggers defaming Islam’.

Kazi Mobarak
Published : 4 April 2015, 06:56 PM
Updated : 4 April 2015, 06:56 PM

They made the demand at a human chain programme in front of the National Press Club on Saturday.
Their stance echoed the demand of ‘Islamist’ organisation Hifazat-e Islam, who was pressing for an anti-blasphemous law.
Later in a media statement issued on the official pad of Awami Olama League, they said 98 percent of Bangladesh’s population is Muslims and demanded proportionate job quota for them.
Though Olama League is not an affiliate of the ruling party, its leaders are seen in all Awami League programmes since the eighth parliamentary elections.
Awami League leaders declined to comment on the Olama League’s demands, which also include annulment of the National Education Policy and anti-child marriage laws.
Ruling party leaders and ministers were seen attending, as chief guests, the processions and rallies of Olama League organised in front of the Awami League headquarters in protest against BNP-led alliance’s blockades and shutdowns.
Olama League on its pad mentions it office address as Awami League headquarters at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue. But this correspondent could not locate it there.
When asked, Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif said: “I don’t want to say anything about any organisation which is not affiliated to Awami League.”
Awami League associate organisations are Juba League, Krishak League, Awami Sechchhasebak League, Awami Ainjibi Parisad, Juba Mohila League, Mohila Awami League and Tanti League.
Bangladesh Chhatra League and Sramik League are also linked to the party.
Olama League President Muhammad Abul Hasan Sheikh Shariatpuri said at the human chain: “Self-proclaimed anti-Islamist atheist bloggers are creating issues for those doing business over religions.”
“They have been defaming Islam. Their acts outdo Taslima Nasrin, Salman Rushdie and Daud Haider. That’s why a law has to be enacted to award death penalty to these atheists who are defaming Islam in the name of freedom of thoughts,” he said.
The Olama League leaders demanded removal of the atheist and anti-veil ministers and ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Several other demands of the organisation are also similar to that of Hifazat’s.