Sunday, April 21, 2019

Keep mobile phones away from children, says Hefazat’s Shafi

  • Chittagong Bureau,
    Published: 2017-11-26 16:48:46 BdST


Hefazat-e-Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi says mobile phones are ‘weapons of destruction made by Jews’ and has warned that children should be kept away from them.

The 95-year-old Islamist leader made the remark during a conference at a summit at the Jamaatul Falah National Mosque in Chittagong on Saturday.

“The Jews have spread this weapon of destruction, this mobilism, to annihilate us,” he said. “It is ruining our social system.”

“I implore you: keep mobile phones away from boys and girls.”

The current state of society has led to the ‘absolute degradation’ of humanity and morality, according to the Hefazat chief. People are developing anti-Islamic views due to the spread of ‘atheistic ideas’, he said.

If harsh punishments are meted out for blaspheming Allah, there will be no atheists, he said.

“Anti-Islamic atheists will be punished by the law in Bangladesh,” he said.

Qawmi madrassa-based organisation Hefazat-e-Islam first rose to prominence for its opposition to the Ganajagaran Mancha war crime trial protests in 2013.

On May 5 of that year, the organisation held a rally in Dhaka’s Motijheel to demand punishment to ‘atheist’ bloggers, the removal of women’s policy, and 11 other disputed demands. Violence broke out in parts of Dhaka, leading to several deaths.

Hefazat threatened to hold a similar rally in Motijheel in 2016 if the statue of ‘Lady Justice’ was not removed from in front of the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina later spoke in support of the statue’s removal. She also approved a decision to accept the highest degree given by Qawmi madrasas as equivalent to a postgraduate degree.

 At the time the government had called Shafi the ‘state’s spiritual elder’.

On Sunday, Shafi called Hefazat a ‘spiritual and self-sacrificing’ organisation with a ‘universal, non-political platform’.

“Hefazat has no political ambitions. We do not have any political friends or enemies. Hefazat will not nominate or support anyone in an election.”

But if anyone attempts to target Islam ‘in the guise of politics’, the Muslims will be forced to take action, said the Islamist leader.