Members of 15 Islamic organisations today put up a rally at the Shahid Minar ground to protest the atrocities against prominent Muslim leaders in Bangladesh and alleged anti-Islam policies of the government there.
Thousands of people gathered at the venue chanting slogans of ‘Sheikh Haseena step down’ and ‘Delwar Hossain should be freed’.
Md Qamruzzaman,general secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation,said,”We are strictly against blogger Imran who posted anti-Islam blogs. We also condemn the actions of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena who is not only letting these offenders go scot free but is also supporting them.”
He said their appeal to the Indian government was to ban these sites in India and severe all ties with Bangladesh,to ‘teach them a lesson’.
“We have no plan to resort to violence. We had and will protest peacefully. It was shocking to see the treatment that was meted out to us at the Bangladesh High Commission when we went to hand over a deputation on February 21. Not only was the Bangladesh High Commissioner not there in spite of being informed about our arrival in advance,but we were not let into the office,” he said. Next,he said there would be a signature collection campaign which they will send to the President of India.
Member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Dr Raisuddin said it was a clash between secular democracy and ethical democracy. “People can fight against Islam’s policy but it should be done in a peaceful manner. Why do they have to resort to profanity in the first place,which caused all the trouble that followed?” he said.
Prominent Muslim leaders of the city such as Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati,Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid,Maulana Syed Athar Abbas Rizvi,Imam of Cossipore Masjid,who were supposed to be present at the event could not attend to health reasons. However,they spoke to The Indian Express over the phone and expressed their views.
“I could not be present there physically as I am indisposed but they have my full support. I strongly condemn the actions of Sheikh Hasina and the protests here are justified,” Barkati said.
Rizvi said,”It is a shame that a country which claims to be an Islamic country insults the religion the way it did. If the religion is not safe in its own home,how can it be safe outside?”