Dismissing Hifazat’s claim, the minister said, “Atheists are not grouping and attacking people anywhere.”
Inu was speaking at a press conference at his ministry on the upcoming May 5 blockade of the Hifazat-e-Islami.
The Chittagong-based Hifazat has been opposing the Shahbagh’s Ganajagaran Mancha, which seeks capital punishment for the war criminals and a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami.
It branded the Mancha organisers as ‘atheists’ and demanded their immediate arrest on charges of defaming Islam.
It placed before the government a 13-point charter of demands including execution of those they dubbed as atheists. The ‘Islamist’ organisation held a rally on April 6 in the capital in which a woman journalist was attacked. They also raised demands for curbing women’s rights.
Shahbgh’s Ganajagaran Mancha has been protesting since Feb 5 demanding capital punishment for war criminals.
Accusing the Hifazat of implementing agenda of the Jamaat-e-Islam, Inu alleged that the group was working ‘like a shadow’ of the Jamaat-Shibir combine to thwart the trial of war criminals.
He urged the Hifazat-e-Islam to withdraw its blockade programme.
The Minister said that these Islamists were up to politics and not Islam. “They are speaking of their mind-made Islam and doing politics.”
No religion of Bangladesh had faced crisis since the independence of Bangladesh, he said. “The Constitution had protected all religions.”
Brushing away Hifazat’s allegations that Islam was in peril, he said, “I would like to tell Allama Shafi that unjust acts and sins are being committed.” He stressed that his government had brought to justice anyone who had insulted Islam.
Inu also criticised the Hifazat for its statements of protecting Islam while remaining silent during the several recent violent attacks on innocents.