Three DU teachers including Dr. Humayun Azad have been pronounced death punishment by two Fundamentalist organizations for their qufri activities. Here is the detail story.
29th June 2004
Three DU Teachers threatened
Our Prime minister whenever visits a foreign country proudly says that ours is a moderate Muslim country. The fundamentalism or telabanism has no place in our sociopolitical life. Although we are not secular, because secularism is taboo in Islam, we are more than secular measured by any yardstick. In our constitution there is no mention of minority communities- ethnic, religious, cultural or linguistic, so there is no minority problem or minority repression. Since there exists no minority population how come question of minority repression arises. These are all false and baseless propaganda of Begum Khaleda’s political enemies chiefly engineered by AL goondas and mastans. We are all Bangladeshis, followers of Islam and Sunnah.
Even Ahmedias, a prominent and enlightened sect of Islam would not be tolerated to exist. It is our solemn duty to bring them back to true fold of Islam the Sunni, otherwise they would be eliminated. We would occupy their place of worships, proscribe and burn their religious scriptures.
Her ministers like ferestas (angels) having no conscience of their own echo what Her Excellency utters or asked them to utter. Madam PM says there is no terrorists in Bangladesh except a large number AL brand whom she has promised to deal with with her Kobras, RATs and of course other members of law enforcing agencies. She knows that her alliance partners headed by Jamat I Islamia are most secular brand of Islamists and not fundamentalists. She forgets that her Islamic partners are avowedly dedicated to establish an Islamic republic in Bangladesh replacing the democratic system of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, which originally envisaged a liberal secular democratic set up. She also forgets that her fundamentalist coalition alliances declared many a times that they would replace our national anthem ‘Sonar Bangla’, composed by a non believer poet of India by some thing like ‘Pak sad bad ….’, and declared jihad to the effect ‘Bangla hobe Telaban’ (We will make Bangladesh a taleban).
So under this backdrop when three Dhaka University teachers, believed to be liberal and secular, are once again threatened to be eliminated by the Islamist fundamentalists, I don’t get surprised. It is learnt that two fundamentalist groups belonging to what they called themselves ‘Nastik o Murtad Protirodh Kamiti’ (Committee to resist atheists and Murtads) and Muslim Millat Shariff Council sent letters of threat to Dhaka University Vice Chancellor declaring three teachers name Dr. Humayun Azad of Bnagla department, Dr. Muntasir Mamun of History department and Professor MMM Akash of Economics department terming them as atheists. Such letters of threat were also sent to some presses. The two organizations, perhaps working in collusion with each other pronounced death sentences to all of them. They were even not given an opportunity to defend. This is the system of Islamic judiciary, this brand of followers of Islam believes in. The letters alleged that Drs. Azad, Mamun and Akash are engaged in anti Islamic anti Quaranic teaching to their students which the letters termed as ‘Kufri’. Their teachings, says the letters, are diminishing the values of Islam in the eyes of the students and tarnishing the image of Islam. The letters urges to execute those teachers and whoever carries out becomes a ‘jannatbashi’
The Vice chancellor who is just an agent of the present BNP led government admitted that his office had received such letters; he is aware of the situation and taking appropriate action. The CID said yesterday in a discussion meeting regarding law and order situation that department knew it and not taking the matter lightly.
It may be recalled that Dr. Humayun Azad just recovered following an attempted murder injury for his anti fundamentalist writings a few months back. Dr. Mamun a popular anti government columnist suffered humiliation including arrest at the hands of the government about a year ago. He was arrested for alleged anti-state activities. On the other hand Prof. Akash is a political activist believing in Marxism and a member of politburo of CPB. It may be said that whatever their individual political philosophy is all of them are secular and anti-fundamentalist.
Reactions of Teachers
Expressing his reaction over the declared punishments Dr. Muntasir Mamun commented that had there been any effective government in the country no body would have dared to issue such threats to university teachers. He further said that Islam is a peace of religion. It has not permitted any individual or an organization to declare any one a Murtad. Dr. Humayun Azad expressed his reaction saying that this kind of fotwa proves that the country has become inhabitable for peace loving citizens. He wondered how a group of fundamentalists openly could threat to kill three university teachers while he himself is still recovering from the deadly onslaught of the Islamic fundamentalists just a few months back. It is the government’s responsibility to silence these activists and fotowabazis, otherwise the Republic would soon turn into an Al-Quida controlled state. Mrs. MM Akash said that such threat is surely very alarming, and government should deal these anti social elements with stern hand.
Professor Arefin Siddiq and Professor Akhteruzzaman, president and secretary of Dhaka University Teachers’ Association respectively deplored the threat to three respected teachers, and asked for stern police action to round up office bearers of those organizations.
It may be recalled that in recent times Dhaka University teachers holding liberal views have become targets of the fundamentalists. Professor Arefin Siddiq, President of DUTA, its Secretary Dr. Akhteruzzama, Professor Aminur Rashid, dean of the faculty of Science have been receiving threatening letters and phone calls for their so called anti state activities. Recently Mrs. Tarana Halim, a noted actress and an advocate was attacked in her own residence by allegedly a group of fundamentalists, and two miscreants attacked Mr. Anu Ahmed, professor of economics, Jahangir Nagar University. Surely all these events are not isolated. One common factor among theses persons is that they are non communal and secular. So the message is clear and sound.
A few years back our beloved poet Shamsur Rahman was attacked by a group of terrorists, who had been declared Murtat long ago. In this list of murtdas and atheists included were Late Dr. Ahmed Sharif, Poet Shamsur Rahman, Prof. Kabir Choudhury, Dr. Humayun Azad, Ms Taslima Nasrin, Poet Sayid Shamsul Haque, Shariar Kabir, Dr. Ali Ashgar and many others including the present author.
How dare these two fundamentalist organizations held open meeting in Dhaka University Arts building. In the open meeting held on Sunday, 27th June, presided over by one Mowlana Shafayet Ullah Jalali three teachers named above were declared Murtads and punishment of death was pronounced. The meeting was among others addressed by Mowlana Zakaria, Ekayedullah, Abdul Jabbar Fatehpuri, Mufti Sahleh Ahmed, and Mufti Qudrat e Elahi, president of the Muslim Millat Shariff Council. All were outsiders. The meeting charged these teachers with Qufribad and attack on the Ulema-Alem samaj through their writings and statements. In order to protect the values of Islam these teachers were declared Murtad, and capital punishment was pronounced to be executed by Islami devotees whenever opportunity comes. The accused were however given 3 months time during which they would say towba to Allah; and every day they would pray five-time namaj in a mosque, read Quaran and Hadis regularly, and declare openly that henceforth they would engage themselves in the construction of Islamic Society, and then they might be pardoned. If they fail to comply with orders, they would be simply executed. What the University authority and intelligent department were doing, when outsiders were holding long meeting and uttering filthy language of threats to its own teachers !
Readers, look here, in an Ayatullah Khomeni style, these fundamentalists dare to declare threat of killing university teachers openly. They have committed a crime under Bangladesh penal code by openly saying their intention to kill honorable citizens of the country. Should not the government and its police and intelligent department take actions to round them up. Government is very prompt to bring in sedition charge to harass important citizens, but miserably fails to protect them from the clutches of the fundamentalists. Journalist Humayun Kabir Balu of Khulna is the latest example of government’s utter failure to combat the terrorism in an effective way.
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