Ahmadiyya book ban violation of rights
Hasina tells journalists, decries plan to control electronic media
Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina yesterday protested the ban on Ahmadiyya publications, terming the government decision as a violation of the communitys fundamental and constitutional rights.
It clearly violates the freedoms of religion and thought, enshrined in the constitution, she said while exchanging views with journalists at the Dhanmondi office of Awami League (AL), of which she is the president.
Hasina said the ban was also against the fundamental spirit of Islam, a religion that upholds tolerance.
Who are we to say whether a person is Muslim or not. Only Allah can judge it, she said.
The former prime minister also criticised the government move to bring the electronic media, especially satellite television channels, under a guideline with a motive to control them.
In this era, the media cannot be controlled, she said, adding, The move brought to light the governments autocratic face.
On the ban on Ahmadiyya publications, she said if there were anything to ban they were the publications of Moududi, idealist of the Jamaat-e-Islami. There are many derogatory remarks against our prophet Mohammad (SM) in Moududis books, she claimed.
She accused the coalition government of encouraging religious fanatics through the decision.
She asked the religious zealots, campaigning for declaration of the Ahmadiyya sect as non-Muslim, to stand by the oppressed Palestinian Muslims.
If you have any good will, then go to Palestine and save Muslims from Israeli persecution, she said.
The AL chief said her party believed in secularism and in peoples rights to freedom of expression.
She termed her partys charter of 15 demands as a demand of time and urged all to join hands to achieve the objectives.
Focussing on her partys plan, she said the AL would reorganise the party and go for an all-out movement against the government simultaneously.
Editor of the Daily Jugantor Golam Sarwar, The Bangladesh Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and acting Editor of the Daily Ittefaq Rahat Khan also spoke on the occasion.
Senior journalists Habibur Rhaman Milon, Haroon Habib, Swapan Saha, Shafiqul Kabir, Azizul Islam Bhuiyan, Ashraf Ali, Abeer Hasan, Akhter Ahmed, Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, Noim Nizam and Shaymol Sarker also took part in discussion, among others.
Editor of the Daily Sangbad Bazlur Rahman, Editor of the Independent Mahbubul Alam, Chief News Editor of ATN Bangla Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul and senior AL leaders were present.