State Minister for Religious Affairs Ministry Faridul Haque Khan yesterday told parliament that no real Islamic scholar was arrested centering Hefajat-e Islam’s violent activities in late March in protest of Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s visit in Bangladesh.
He said the “so called power hungry” Islamic scholars who were involved in conspiracy against the state and anti-social activities have been brought under the law.
The state minister was responding to BNP MPs Harunur Rashid and Rumeen Farhana, who during discussion on a Bill sharply criticised the government for wholesale arrest of Islamic scholars during the government’s ongoing crackdown against Hefajat leaders for their involvement in violent protests from March 25 to March 27.
The state minister said everyone knows what Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is doing for Islam in this country. He said no real Islamic scholars or alem-ulema have been arrested or prosecuted.
“Only some money- and power-hungry so called alem-ulema who are involved in various criminal offenses and only those who were involved in conspiracy against the country in the name of saving Islam have been brought under the law.”
The junior minister added: “If someone is arrested unfairly, the prime minister has immediately asked to release them. And many Islamic scholars have already been released. In fact legal action has been taken against those found guilty.”
Mentioning that the law is equal for all, the state minister said Sheikh Hasina’s government respects people of all walks of life including alem-ulema and Islamic scholars.
Earlier, BNP’s Harunur Rashid said, “Those who we term alem-ulema are subjected to serious oppression. Please release them. Otherwise the balance of the country will be affected.”
He added that the Anti-Corruption Commission has served notices to the country’s top 56 scholars to submit their wealth statement. “I think it would have been appreciated had the ACC served notices to 350 MPs before serving notice to the Islamic scholars,” Harun also said.
Rumeen Farhana, elected in reserved seats for women in parliament, mentioned that Islamic preacher Mohammad Adnan has gone mising recently.
“He along with three other people has been missing since last Thursday and still there is no trace of them,” she said.
Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman said, “I respect Islamic scholars. But in the name of Waaz Mahfil, some Islamic scholars are spreading confusion on different issues including coronavirus. We need to become aware about those Islamic scholars.”