Vol. 5 Num 522 Tue. November 15, 2005  
Front Page

Govt turns to holy verses to counter militancy

Dismayed at the repeated failure of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to thwart bomb attacks, the government in desperation has started preaching Islam's teachings to the public to counter Islamist militancy.

In the wake of yesterday's killing of two judges in Jhalakathi by outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operatives, the government circulated a compilation of four verses from the Holy Quran and the Hadith to the media offices. Press Information Department sent the compilation crediting the Mosque Council with the circulation.

The Arabic verses followed by interpretations in Bangla appear a last-ditch attempt by the government machinery to launch a counter-campaign against the violent religious fanaticism. The verses have been in print to ram home the fact that Islam does not sanction terrorist activities such as bombing and killing.

On the first page, quoting a verse from the Hadith that says he is the real Muslim from whose hands and mouth other Muslims are safe, the government says, "So, Islam does not endorse bombing or causing harm to others."

Citing a verse from the Quran that says Fitna or anarchy is worse than killing, the government on the second page of the compilation says, "So, bombing, killing and creating anarchy in the name of Islam is not compatible with the Quran and Sunnah."

Quoting another Quranic verse on the next page that says he who kills one illegally has actually killed the humanity, the government says, "So, Islam does not permit killing of people by bombing in the name of religion."

On the last page, referring to a verse from the Hadith that says follow the moderate way and do not take the extreme one; give people good news, do not frustrate them, the government says, "So, bombing or killing people in the name of Jihad cannot be the right path."

In the immediate aftermath of the countrywide serial bomb blasts on August 17, the government, apart from taking legal actions against the Islamist militants, decided at a meeting on October 4 to launch a countrywide campaign to counter the militants' brainwashing of innocent youths by exploiting their religious sentiment.

Emerging from that meeting, State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar had said "a kind of education" is luring these youths into joining Islamist militancy and carrying out subversive activities with an aim to establish "Islamic rule instead of people-made law".

Islam does not preach nor does it endorse bombing of innocent people to death but the people involved in the bombings do not have such knowledge, Babar had told journalists.

Islamic scholars or alem-ulamas have also said that Islam does not advocate or support the violent way in which the militants are advancing their agenda of establishing Islamic rule, he had told the meeting.

"So, we emphasise motivation of these people and have done detailed work on it," Babar said.