ভারতের নামকরা ও বহুল প্রচারিত পত্রিকা “টাইমস অব ইন্ডিয়ায়” গত ১৭ ডিসেম্বর (বৃহস্পতিবার) প্রকাশিত ‘বাংলাদেশে ইসলামপন্থী চরমপন্থার উত্থানে উদ্বিগ্ন ভারত’ শীর্ষক এক প্রতিবেদনের প্রতিবাদ জানিয়েছে দেশের সর্ববৃহৎ অরাজনৈতিক ইসলামী সংগঠন হেফাজতে ইসলাম বাংলাদেশ। বাংলাদেশ থেকে হেফাজতের হেফাজতে ইসলাম প্রতিবাদপত্রটি টাইমস অব ইন্ডিয়ার এডিটর-ইন-চীফ জয়দীপ বোস বরাবর পাঠিয়েছে।
হেফাজতে ইসলামের টাইমস আব ইন্ডিয়াকে পাঠানো মূল ইংরেজি প্রতিবাদপত্রটি হবহু নিচে দেওয়া হলো :
Date: 17 Dec, 2020
Mr. Jaideep Bose
The Times of India
Subject: Rejoinder to the report titled “Rise of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh worries India” that was published in your esteemed newspaper.
Dear Mr. Bose, The report titled “Rise of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh worries India” published in the Times of India on December 17, 2020 caught our attention. Sadly, the report is not only full of baseless and inaccurate assertions, but also misleading and slanderous, hence this rejoinder.
On the outset, it would be clear to anyone –informed about the politics and public life of Bangladesh– that this report was written with an ulterior motive and could not hide its prejudice against the most popular civico-religious platform in Bangladesh, i.e., Hefazat-E-Islam. To our great dismay, it was claimed that Allama Junaid Babunagri, the newly elected Chief of Hefazat-E-Islam, ‘vandalized statues of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’. This motivated claim made in the report is nowhere near true and has no factual basis or any credible reference. If it were the case, one would wonder why such news was not reported in any form in Bangladesh mainstream media. On the contrary, the fact on the ground is quite the opposite. Soon after a statue of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was vandalized in Kustia district of Bangladesh on December 5, 2020, Mawlana Mamunul Haque, the current joint-secretary of Hefazat-E-Islam condemned the act in the strongest possible way. In addition, he reiterated his respect towards Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as an illustrious figure in our struggle for liberation and an accomplished Muslim persona.
It’s very unfortunate to see your esteemed newspaper is being used to propagate misinformation, lies and malicious propaganda against Hefazat-E-Islam in Bangladesh. Knowing that the Times of India is one of the leading newspapers in India, we expect it to be more professional, objective and balanced in its reporting and coverage to earn trust and credibility in order to be able to influence a people-to-people relationship between Bangladesh and India in the most positive direction.
Hefazat-E-Islam neither supports nor approves of such vandalism by taking law at hands. Rather, in our opinion, it has ample indication to consider this as an act of sabotage to put blame on us. Reportedly, another such incident of vandalism took place in Kustia a few days ago, with three perpetrators arrested by the law enforcing agencies on the charge of the vandalisation of Bagha Jatin’s bust. It’s quite revealing to know that one of the perpetrators’ identities has been reported in the media to be the leader of Jubo League– a wing of the current ruling party of Bangladesh (The Daily Star, Dec 20, 2020).
In addition, your report labelled our organization as an extremist group. This is the language of dehumanization and directly borrowed from the vocabulary of “war on terror” at work. We are protesting in the strongest possible term against such a misnomer used to vilify Hefazat-E-Islam. We are a nonpolitical civico-religious organization working to safeguard public morality, articles of faith and principles in peaceful ways to fight against colonial domination and Islamophobia.
Therefore, we would like to request you to publish this rejoinder in full to correct the perception of your readers about us which was damaged due to the aforementioned report published in your newspaper.
Mawlana Azizul Haque Islamabadi
Organisational Secretary (Central)