Known as ‘old nick’ in the intelligence circles, Hefazat-e-Islam, the top radical organisation in Bangladesh, is turning out to be a nemesis for Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh.
Security agencies are apprehensive about the activities and quick cadre mobilisation in the country which has become a playground of at least 90 radical organisations of late.
According to intelligence sources, Hefajat is working religiously to convert Bangladesh into an Islamic caliphate.
The organisation has placed some ‘charter of demands’ to Hasina government.
It has even served a timeframe for fulfilling its demands.
The demands include declaration of ‘Ahmedia’ muslims of Bangladesh as non-Muslims and arrest the practising Ahmedia Muslims for trials under blasphemy laws, making ‘hijab’ and ‘burqa’ mandatory for all women of Bangladesh irrespective of faith they belong to, banning of
those television channels which the organisation considers against Islam.
One of the most controversial demands are demolition of all statues and idols in Bangladesh because idolatry is against ‘Wahabi’ faith.
Another wish that has posed a challenge before the Bangladesh government is the demand to take action against pro-liberal and secular media in the country.
In accordance with its radical stance, the organisation has demanded that secular, liberal writers, intellectuals and bloggers be handed out capital punishments.
A Bangladesh intelligence official said his agency officials are doubtful about stopping the march of radicals.
“The situation has come to such a pass that we’re not sure if radicals demand change of the name of Bangladesh as those radicals, who were clandestinely working to turn Bangladesh into a radical Islamic country, have started openly threatening the government. They are even opposed to the idea of retaining the name Bangladesh which derives from Bangla language,” the official told Dhaka Stories.
The senior official of National Security Intelligence ,Bangladesh (NSI) also expressed concern over ‘lack of Bengaliness’ in Bangladesh.
“Nowadays, there is an attempt to spread Arabic principles which is against secular Bengali ethos. Rapid radicalisation and madrasa-bred people are posing threat to the security,” he added.