'Adult men and women wearing indecent clothing and paint on their face and dancing together to the rhythm of drums while carrying giant dolls and animal masks – this Hindu ritual is being forced upon Muslims by the state'
Leaders of the Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam have said the Mongol Shobhajatra procession observed on the morning of Pohela Boishakh is ‘haram,’ or forbidden in Islam.
Hefazat’s Dhaka unit Vice-President Junaid Al Habib said: “Mongol Shobhajatra is not a Muslim culture. If the government wants to push this on Muslims, the Qwomi madrasas will be forced to take to the streets.”
He was speaking at a protest in front of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque on Friday. Hefazat organized the protest to condemn the killing of civilians in Afghanistan by NATO forces.
On Thursday, Hefazat Secretary General Junaid Babunagari issued a statement saying: “In the name of celebrating the Bangla new year, observing a procession with animal replicas is against the faith and practices of Muslims.
“Adult men and women wearing indecent clothing and paint on their face and dancing together to the rhythm of drums while carrying giant dolls and animal masks – this Hindu ritual is being forced upon Muslims by the state.”
“This is absolutely forbidden in the eyes of Islam,” he said in the statement.
‘Conspiracy to separate CHT from Bangladesh’
Hefazat’s central Nayeb-e-Amir and Dhaka unit President Nur Hossain Kashemi said: “The people of faith are prepared to protect the independence and sovereignty of this country. We will not let a conspiracy separate the Chittagong Hill Tracts from Bangladesh.”
“After the fall of Russia, the United States has been attacking Muslim countries one by one. They are blaming Muslims for terrorism. Islam is a religion of peace and welfare. It does not approve of terrorism. United States is the perpetrator of state terrorism. They must leave Afghanistan at once,” he said.
Organizing Secretary Azizul Haque said: “The tribals of CHT have appealed to the United Nations to make CHT a separate nation. We want to say, we will not give one inch of Bangladeshi soil to anyone.”
Junaid Al Habib said: “If Rohingyas are kept in Teknaf, Myanmar is not safe. If they are sent to Bhashan Char then Myanmar is safe. We understand the conspiracy here.”
“Those who have proposed moving the Rohingya to Bhashan Char and creating a Christian state with the tribals, we want to tell them: if Bangladeshi citizens walk over to CHT, not one tribal will remain alive.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com