Saturday, December 4

Olama Mashayekh Parishad seeks capital punishment to Latif


News Desk: Several hundred people brought out a procession from Dhaka’s Baitul Mukarram mosque demanding capital punishment of Latif Siddique for his comments on hajj, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Tablighi Jamaat.

Under the banner of Sammilito Olama Mashayekh Parishad, they brought out the procession from the north gate of the national mosque to Dainik Bangla intersection after Juma prayer around 1:30pm, our correspondent reports from the spot.

Supporters of Bangladesh Madrasa Chhatra Songram Parishad, Sammilito Islami Dalsamuho, and Jamaat-e-Ulama Islam Bangladesh joined in from adjoining areas.

Later, they were holding a rally on the mosque premises and chanting slogans to press home their demand till at 2:27pm when this report was filed. Additional policemen were deployed in the area to avoid any untoward incident.

Earlier yesterday, Islamic parties had announced a demonstration at Baitul Mukarram premises against the “derogatory” comments of the minister who is soon to be removed from the cabinet and as well as from his party, the Awami League.

Earlier, as part of security measures taken for the demonstration programme, police frisked all those entering the mosque for Juma prayer this afternoon.

Latif, who was at the visiting delegation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the United States, spoke “ill’ on hajj, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Tablighi Jamaat and the premier’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

The remarks triggered widespread criticisms at home and abroad. Reports have been run in the media that the PM has sacked Latif from the cabinet as well as the party.

WHAT THE MINISTER SAID

At a programme organised by AL Tangail unit in the US, the minister said he was against hajj and Tablighi Jamaat more than he detested the Jamaat-e-Islami.

“Hajj is waste of manpower,” he said. “Those who perform hajj do not have any productivity. They deduct from the economy, spend a lot of money abroad.”

Those in Tablighi Jamaat do not have anything else to do but block roads during a rally, he said.

Regarding PM’s son Joy, the minister said: “Who is Joy?”

Latif Siddique also slammed a journalist on the spot for “asking too many questions”. “You are invited here, act like a guest and sit quiet.