DhakaTribune
Wednesday November 22, 2017 03:44 AM

Who is Dr Mubashar Hasan and why is he missing?

  • Published at 11:46 PM November 10, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:25 AM November 11, 2017
Who is Dr Mubashar Hasan and why is he missing?
Dr Mubashar HasanCollected

Many of his professional acquaintances have pointed out the presence of controversial and sensitive issues in the line of his research

Colleagues and peers of Dr Mubashar Hasan, a political science teacher at North South University (NSU) who has been missing since Tuesday, treat him and his work as a researcher with high regard.

Dr Mubashar, an assistant professor at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, joined NSU in September last year after a brief stint at the media studies and journalism department of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB).

He completed his graduate and post-graduate degrees in journalism from Dhaka University and went to the University of Dundee in 2006 to study “Globalisation: Origin, Development and Contemporary Impact.”

Dr Mubashar also took an Mlit course on “Muslims, Globalisation and the West” at the University of Aberdeen in 2009.

Subsequently, he returned to Bangladesh and joined Oxfam as a public relations and communications specialist. He was a spokesperson for Oxfam Pakistan in 2010 for two months, before joining the Oxfam in Dhaka.

Mubashar left his job at Oxfam a few years later to pursue a Phd in political science and government at Griffith University, where he published his thesis titled “Geopolitics of Political Islam in Bangladesh.”

He has publications with leading academic publishers including Oxford University Press, Sage, Taylor and Francis, Harvard University Asia Centre and Willey.

The experienced public relations strategist has also worked as an adviser for the Bangladesh government.

He also worked as a journalist for IRIN News and bdnews24.com in addition to stints at BBC World Service Trust, Practical Action and Global Development Network in Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.

Recently, Dr Hasan had begun an international relations and politics blog named “Alochonaa” with one of his colleagues in order to foster dialogue.

NSU Deputy Director (PR) Belal Ahmed said: “Losing a teacher like Dr Mubashar would be great loss.”

Professor Jude William R Genilo, head of ULAB’s journalism department said: “He had excellent academic credentials and was prolific in terms of research.”

An unpublished book

Many of his professional acquaintances have pointed out the presence of controversial and sensitive issues in the line of his research.

Some have also expressed suspicion that his disappearance might have something to do with the latest collection of essays titled “Bangladesh: A Critical Reader” which was about to be published by Prothoma publication.

He had published a number of Facebook posts regarding the upcoming collection, but all such posts were found to have been removed when viewing his profile on Friday morning.

People acquainted with Mubashar have opined that as he was a liberal scholar, he was sometimes naively enthusiastic in accommodating opinions of all shades and colours regardless of the political implications.

The index of book includes thirty four chapters, titles of which include ‘All Hail the Leaders—Presidentialization of Bangladesh Politics’, ‘Tarique Rahman and Liberal Politics in Bangladesh’, ‘Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal: a critique of the critics’, ‘Religious freedom with an Islamic twist: How the Medina Charter is used to frame secularism in Bangladesh’, ‘Deconstructing discourse of Bangladeshi blogging’, and ‘Minority assault: It is politics not religion’.

Many of his professional acquaintances said they hoped for his safe return.

Researcher, journalist and political commentator Afsan Chowdhury said: “Most of his research was based on sensitive issues. However, a missing person can be anyone, it is indeed the government’s duty to look for the missing people and make sure of their safe return.”

Motahar Hossain, Mubashar’s father, told the Dhaka Tribune that he believes his son will come back.

“We have reported it to the law enforcement, and I hope that they will find my son.”

However, Khilgaon police station OC Moshiur Rahman said: “We are yet to find him but our search is still on going.”

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