Qawmi madrasa leaders demand ‘Mujib Minar’ tower in place of Bangabandhu’s statue

Qawmi madrasa leaders demand ‘Mujib Minar’ tower in place of Bangabandhu’s statue

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Dhaka, Dec 06: The leaders of Qawmi madrasas have demanded a ‘Mujib Minar’ tower with the 99 names of Allah in place of a statue of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Islamists also demand maximum punishment for actions belittling the Prophet Mohammad and permission to use loudspeakers and mikes at religious gatherings.

They raised the demands on Saturday after a meeting chaired by Mahmudul Hasan, acting president of Befaqul Madarishil Arabia Bangladesh or Befaq, and chairman of Al-Haiatul Ulya Lil-Jamiatil Qawmia Bangladesh, the education boards of the Qawmi madrasas.

The leaders sat amid growing opposition by Qawmi-based Hifazat-e Islam and other Islamic extremist groups to statues, including those of Bangabandhu.

Social and cultural activists have continued protests against the Islamists’ opposition to statues, while the government has urged calm, saying that it does not want confrontations.

Mahfuzul Haque, secretary general of Befaq, said the meeting pointed out five demands “following the views of Islamic scholars”.

Befaq Secretary General Mahfuzul HaqueBefaq Secretary General Mahfuzul HaqueThey will send the demands in a memorandum to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and take steps to meet her, he said.

“Sculpture of humans or statues made for any purpose is strictly forbidden by Islam. It is better to find an alternative to building statues in light of the Quran and Sunnah in a country with 90 percent Muslims,” the Befaq secretary general said.

Their other demands are: release of previously arrested Islamic “scholars” and close monitoring of provocative and defamatory remarks.