Bangladesh’s Islamic extremists plan to kill another professor
This is for the second time in less than a year the Jamaat-Shibir men are propagating to kill a teacher of Dhaka University allegedly for asking his female students not to cover the whole face at his class as they cannot be recognized.
The Facebook pages and profiles run by Shibir and other radical Islamist groups are now campaigning demanding that Prof Azizur Rahman be arrested and punished for hurting the fragile “sentiment of the (radical) Muslims.” They have even launched an event to drum up support to kill him. They are circulating a video taken at his classroom.
Who will shoulder the responsibility if he is killed?
Meanwhile, the girl in question has admitted that the teacher asked her to not to wear full veil but said that he had not spoken arrogantly against the veil system. She also alleged that the Jamaat-Shibir men were trying to launch an attack on the teacher spreading a distorted video which is a part of the conversation.
Shibir has issued a statement using provocative language – enough to bring out thousands of radicals to the streets to kill the teacher, who is a ruling Awami League supporter.
The Jamaat-Shibir nexus launched a campaign against Prof Aziz in August last year by publishing one-sided and distorted information on their Amar Desh and Naya Diganta newspapers and several other little-known websites that are used to spread propaganda.
At this, Jamaat issued a statement on August 21, 2015. The statement said that Prof Aziz had defamed Islam by asking the girl in burqa to leave the classroom.
None of the newspapers tried to reach the teacher for his comments. He, however, protested the false news reports and clarified the matter on his Facebook profile on August 19.
Prof Aziz said: “Firstly, there was no conversation about burqa at my class from 11-12pm on August 18, 2015, as per the report of Amader Bangladesh newspaper. One of the girls wanted to say something, but her face was covered with veil. I asked her to remove it so that I could understand her remarks. But she was stiff. Then I asked her whether she took photo for the admission test without veil. As she said yes, I told her to come to the class without a veil or she can leave. I said that if someone is wearing a veil, it is difficult to recognize whether she is my student or not. But I must know my students while giving a lecture.
“Secondly, the reporter did not talk to me and made the report based on hearsay which go against the ethics of journalism.
“Thirdly, in our country there are always some people who distort facts and try to create chaos in the society by raising issues of defaming Islam. There is a possibility that there are similar elements among the teachers and students of Dhaka University.”
Yes, there are many radical Islamists now studying at Dhaka University, most of who hide their political affiliations. Even though Shibir is not banned at DU, they have no activities on the campus. But the university authorities have recently expelled a number of Hizb-ut Tahrir members since it is an outlawed militant organization. The founder of Hizb-ut Tahrir was a DU teacher.
Earlier, the Shibir activists of Rajshahi University hacked to death sociology department teacher Prof AKM Shafiul Islam near his house on November 15, 2104 claiming that he had asked his female students not to wear burqa or niqab. It is learnt that Prof Shafiul took the move in consultation with other teachers to stop cheating during exams.
The Shibir activists are responsible for the murder of Anjali Debi Chowdhury, a teacher of Chittagong Nursing Institute, on January 11, 2015. She was part of a decision taken by the institute to ban burqa on the campus.
It seems that the Facebook pages and accounts of the radical Islamists and some blogs are out to label secularists and anti-Jamaat people as atheists on different excuses to get them killed. Similar propaganda was launched against the teachers of several institutions and private universities in Dhaka and elsewhere over dress code.
It should be mentioned that an Islamic Revolution is under way now in Bangladesh to turn it into an Islamic state. So the attacks on secularists, atheists, reformist Muslims, non-Sunni Muslims, Buddhists and Christians may rise in the near future – thanks to the government inaction against the radicals.