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Bangladesh hardline Islamist party Hefazat-e-Islam elects new Chief

He was elected Chief, called ‘Amir’, of the organisation in the conference  of the organisation held at the Hathazari Madrasa of Chattogram on Sunday.

Nur Hossain Kasemi was elected as the party’s General Secretary. The meeting also announced the formation of a 151 member central committee of the organisation.

The post of the Amir had fallen vacant after the death of the founder Chief  Shah Ahmad Shafi in September this year who headed the Qawmi Madrasa based hardline Islamist group.

The organisation has also been witnessing rift between its various factions a little prior to the death of Shah Ahmad Shafi.

A faction of the Hefazat has opposed the council decision calling it an attempt to implement the agenda of Jamat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir.

Established in 2010, the Hefazat-e-Islam controls the largest number of Madrasas running into thousands in Bangladesh.

It came into prominence for its hardline Islamist demands during the 2013 Shahbagh protest movement in Dhaka.

In its 13 point charter of demand in 2013, Hefazat-e-Islam had demanded anti blasphemy law with death penalty, ban on erecting sculptures, declaring Ahmadiyas as non-Muslims, restrictions on social gathering between men and women among others.

Recently, it organsied a march to encircle the French embassy against the comment of the French President Emmanuel Macron on the issue of cartoon of Prophet Muhammad and brutal beheadings in France.

 

Report by: Rajesh Jha, Dhaka 

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