The Business Standard spoke to Muhammed Nurul Huda, former inspector general of Bangladesh Police, and Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, professor at the department of law, University of Dhaka, on the recent clash between police and protesters in Borhanuddin Upazila, Bhola.
Muhammed Nurul Huda
Religious issue is amongst one of the most complicated issues of the world. Among the Muslim communities, some Muslims have established a mistaken notion—whenever the Prophet is attacked, Islam is at stake. But Islam is not that fragile. Sadly, in the era of gadgets, fake news roam around everywhere, and unfortunately, people react without verifying the authenticity of the news.
Communal attack with its long history is no surprise anymore. Even our neighbouring countries attack their minorities to corner them. The ultra-enthusiastic people of our country often get influenced by those events and try to experiment it here, just to see the outcome. Also, another kind of people wants to whip up the communal sentiments just to create chaos throughout the country.
Verifying news is a sensible course and the mob does not understand this. As a mob would possibly react to anything, it is necessary to take strong administrative measure.
Police—the visible symbol of authority, are in the first in line when it comes to controlling mobs. As police went to control this situation in Borhanuddin upazila, the angry mob thought that the government is against their cause and supporting the person who spoke against the prophet. Thus, they have attacked the police. The government is being rational by not taking any hasty decision. But this gets lost in translation to the inherently irrational mob.
Preventive measures need to be taken and public representatives must play their role in these type of situations as the government alone cannot bring resolutions. They need apprehend the matter at hand to the community leaders. Because violence can never be a fruitful approach.
Muhammed Nurul Huda, Former inspector general, Bangladesh Police
Sheikh Hafizur Rahman
Professor, Department of law
University of Dhaka
We have seen such attacks in Ramu, Brahmanbaria and Rangpur. The fascinating thing is, all these attacks followed the same pattern. They all attacked over a Facebook post that had some statement against the prophet. But, the main reason behind communal attacks is the religious conservatism of the people. These attacks are done intentionally to create anarchy throughout the country. Thus, it is necessary to identify these people and take strong steps against them.
Almost every time we have seen the madrasah students taking part in these chaotic movements. And, for that, it is necessary to take steps to make these students understand the gravity of the matter. Also, introducing more science subjects along with logic in their syllabus might help them to think more rationally.
Everyone has the right to speak and there can always be movements. But we have to keep in mind that the movements can also be done in a peaceful manner instead of violence. And, the authorities should take strong steps to control these violent activities.
Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, Professor, Department of law, University of Dhaka