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January 16, 2016

Bangladesh: Faizullah of IOJ and Hefazat-e-Islam eyes Islamic revolution

Dhaka Tribune, january 16, 2016
Faizullah: IOJ eyes Islamic revolution
Tribune Report
Mufti Faizullah, secretary general of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote that cut ties with the BNP-led alliance, told Bangla Tribune recently that they aim at creating an independent course for Islamic politics through forming a larger alliance. He is also the joint secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam. Here is the translation of the interview

Why did you quit the BNP-led alliance?

Our convention says the IOJ has no relation with the 20-party alliance. We are maintaining this. You have to understand by yourself what we mean by this. We did not say we quit the alliance or anything like this. Our convention says the IOJ will form a platform of Islamic scholars and organisations to fulfil our mission of establishing Islam on the land of Almighty Allah and carrying it forward.

What will be the outline of this unity?

We want to wage an Islamic mass revolution. For this we need political unity. We want to move forward with the people who want to join us. We want to include the parties, organisations and individuals who want to establish Islam in this country. We have already talked to the persons concerned and will come up with a new name. But it cannot be done within a time frame.

Is there any possibility of joining any other alliance in future?

I want to say clearly that the IOJ is not with the Awami League or the BNP. And there cannot be a bond with the Awami League. Rather we want to ask the Awami League to get rid of the anti-Islamic people, apostates and radical atheists. We will also ask all political parties to clarify their stance with respect to Islam.

What is your future political plans?

Our specific aim is to establish Islamic rule in the country, and with this, we will protect the country’s independence and sovereignty. We will also work for improving the country’s image, human rights situation, dignity, equality and justice … to work for the welfare of the country and humanity … to establish the rights of the people, stop oppression, ensuring the basic rights of the people, stopping violence against women and improving the lifestyle of the common people through eradicating poverty. We need strong organisational base to achieve these targets. We have to move forward in a planned way by revamping the IOJ from the grassroots to the central level considering the reality. The IOJ is independent in taking up plans and materialising those. We do not depend on others.

How will you implement the plans?

We will bring to front the new generation leaders gradually with the blessings and advice of our top leaders. The new leadership will invite people to the path of Islam in a disciplined and peaceful manner. They
will establish an enlightened society, and carry out a mass Islamic movement to build the society and the country.

Why are the religion-based parties less vocal about other issues than religion?

Firstly, we do religion-based politics. We do politics as is said in Islam. But our programmes are not negligible. We carry out activities on every issue, but only the religion-related issues are highly discussed. So many people may think that we do not talk about the issues related to the country’s interests. Secondly, the other reason why we are vocal in favour of protecting Islam is that the country’s independence and sovereignty depend on the state of Islam and the Muslims. Independence and sovereignty of the country will remain intact as long as Islam and Islamic civilisation-culture is preserved. This is why we emphasise more on Islam and Muslim culture.

Do you think quitting the long-time alliance will have adverse impact within the party?

We gathered opinion of our leaders and supporters from across the country before taking the decision. We also talked to the scholars and senior leaders. The decision came up at the Majlish-e-Sura meeting following discussions. Now we will be able to give more time for the party. It will speed up the party’s activities. We hope to reach more people through our programmes. In result, there will be no adverse impact, and the party will be strengthened.

How will you give 300 candidates in the next general elections?

We have committees in all the 64 districts. Earlier we could not give candidates independently because of being a part of an alliance. But now we will try to give a candidate for every constituency. We have already travelled all the districts and have planned to move forward with the most efficient and skilled persons in the district level.

Why are you against the National Women Development Policy?

We are not against the development of the women. We want to say that the anti-Islamic sections of the policy must be removed. We raised this demand earlier too. We informed the government about those sections in writing in 2011. We think that the sections that are contrary to the Qur’an and Sunnah must be abolished and replaced by Islamic rules to increase the dignity of women and protect them from violence.

You have called for punishment for disrespecting religion. Do you want anti-blasphemy law?

We do not want anti-blasphemy law. We meant every religion, not only Islam. It is prohibited in Islam to insult any religion. Even the country’s constitution and the UN Declaration for Human Rights prohibits insulting any religion. We think that insulting religion is a reason behind the deteriorating law and order. So we demand formulation of a law in parliament so that no one can hurt someone’s religious sentiment. The maximum punishment should be death penalty as prescribed in Shariah Law. We do not want anti-blasphemy law and are also against taking law in own hand.

Do you think the rise of militancy is a threat to religion-based politics?

The rise of militancy is basically an effort to label the Muslims as terrorists. It is part of a conspiracy. We raised our voice against it and will do so in the future. If needed, we will announce programmes. We will also demonstrate to stop bomb attacks, murders and torture.

There has been a long-standing demand for banning religion-based politics. How will you face it?

It is not a demand of the ordinary citizen. They are pious. Such demand can come from the leftists. Rather I will demand banning the left parties. They are barring the development and prosperity of the country. They are the reason behind chaos in the society. For them, the blessings of Allah do not reach this country. They are threat to the country’s independence and sovereignty, and are harmful for the society and the country. They should not be allowed to do politics.
- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/jan/16/faizullah-ioj-eyes-islamic-revolution#sthash.RGYoZU1u.bENNdZME.dpuf