MPS LINK BNP-JAMAAT WITH ‘ZAWAHIRI’ STATEMENT
Government observed that the statement was similar to recent statements of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, Jamaat and Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam
Senior MPs yesterday linked the BNP and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami with al-Qaeda and urged the government to find out those who translated the audio message reportedly from top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri published in the media on Saturday.
They observed that the statement asking Muslims to wage a jihad against the “massacres” in Bangladesh was similar to recent statements of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, Jamaat and Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam.
The lawmakers, however, said Zawahiri’s call would not work in Bangladesh because Islam had spread here through Sufism, not through swords “as happened in many Arab states.”
“This is a deeply rooted conspiracy against Bangladesh. Zawahiri said what BNP-Jamaat publicised before…BNP-Jamaat have been doing what the militant outfits do,” said Sheikh Selim, initiating the unscheduled discussion.
“We will resist the evil force, even if it costs our blood,” said Selim.
Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal said: “Zawahiri should have studied Bangladesh before making such message. Islam came here through Sufism, not through sword as happened in many Arab states.”
Terming al-Qaeda a “non-state” and “fugitive” outfit, he defended Bangladesh’s secular state policy, saying Prophet Mohammad (SM) had established Madina as a secular state.
Quoting a Time magazine report, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said Zawahiri had visited Bangladesh thrice between 2001 and 2006. “It happened because of the hospitality of the then government.”
She termed Khaleda “lady Laden” and Tarique Rahman “junior Laden” and said Zawahiri’s audio message had been aimed at boosting the morale of the BNP chief.
“This message will not work. The people of Bangladesh liberated the country through a liberation war,” she said.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim said the government should find out those who had dubbed Zawahiri’s statement as al-Qaeda leader did not know Bangla.
“We have to find out whether al-Qaeda issued the statement or the local al-Qaeda made it,” he added.
Workers Party MP Fazle Hossain Badsha said the House should adopt a resolution condemning the Pakistan parliament’s resolution on the execution of Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla and Zawahiri’s audio message.
In her speech on the president’s address in parliament, former foreign minister Dipu Moni said Zawahiri’s statement was similar to those of Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman, Amar Desh Editor Mahmudur Rahman and Odhikar chief Adilur Rahman. “The government must investigate whether it was a coincidence or the BNP and Jamaat were involved in it.”
MPs of the main opposition Jatiya Party did not take part in the discussion.
FEBRUARY 17, 2014