Bangladesh mosques urged to denounce radicalism

Bangladeshis offer funeral prayer for Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim's grandson Zayan Chowdhury, who was killed in the series blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, in Dhaka on April 24, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 April 2019
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Bangladesh mosques urged to denounce radicalism

  • Premier Sheikh Hasina said terrorism had become a global phenomenon and that every country was threatened by this menace

DHAKA: The Bangladesh government told mosques to denounce extremism, following deadly attacks in Sri Lanka that killed hundreds of people.
Sri Lanka has been shocked by the Easter Sunday bombings that targeted churches and top hotels, with the attacks carried out by locals although Daesh claimed responsibility.
The mosque directive came from the prime minister’s office, telling clerics to deliver a message in their Friday sermons that opposed terrorism and extremism.
“Extremism has no place in Islam,” Sultan Muhiuddin, an imam of Dhaka’s Rahmatia Jame Mosque, told Arab News.
“As disciples of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we can’t indulge in any radical activities. We preached upon the negative effects of radicalization and reminded people of the dire consequences in the light of the Qur’an,” he said.
Premier Sheikh Hasina said terrorism had become a global phenomenon and that every country was threatened by this menace.
“We are very much alert on this issue and have already taken the necessary steps to avoid any untoward situation,” she told reporters on Friday.
“I had a detailed meeting with all the intelligence agencies’ chiefs and asked them to stay alert. Extremism has no religion, no country … It has become a global issue and now the time has come to find out the patrons of these terrorists.”
But Bangladesh police deny that Daesh exists or has a presence in the country.
“In Bangladesh there is no existence of Daesh (Daesh) or any of its branches,” Mohammad Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told Arab News.
“But there are some other extremist groups specially Ansar-Al-Islam and Neo JMB, which have had almost no activity in recent days. Still, we are very vigilant. If any militant group re-emerges with their activities, we are ready to curb them at an early stage.”
But one security analyst said the Sri Lanka attacks may inspire some militant groups to carry out similar acts in Bangladesh.
“We need to remain alert regarding the people who joined Daesh,” retired Air Commodore Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury told Arab News.
“These people may try to enter into Bangladesh through different land borders to conduct terrorist activities. We need to increase the monitoring in the border areas to check these militants. In recent years, our law enforcement capacity has increased a lot to counter any terrorist activity. Mass awareness has also increased against radicalism. For these two reasons I think Bangladesh can protect itself against any large-scale terrorist attack,” he added.


Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia: White House

Updated 7 min 29 sec ago
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Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia: White House

  • White House official said they are closely monitoring the situation
  • Houthi militants said they attacked a power station in Saudi Jizan province

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has been briefed about a missile strike on Saudi Arabia, the White House said Thursday, after Houthi militia claimed an attack on a power station in the kingdom’s south.
“The president has been briefed on the reports of a missile strike in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with our partners and allies.”
There was no immediate confirmation of the attack from Saudi authorities.
Late Wednesday, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militants said they struck a power station in southern Jizan province, according to the group’s Al-Masirah TV.
Earlier on Wednesday, a Saudi-led military coalition fighting the militia said a Houthi drone was intercepted over Yemeni airspace.
Last week, a Houthi missile attack on the international airport in southern Abha city left 26 civilians wounded, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.
Human Rights Watch denounced last week’s strike as an apparent “war crime,” urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The attacks come amid heightened regional tensions with Iran, which Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused of arming the militia with sophisticated weapons. Tehran denies the charge.
Following recent Houthi attacks, Saudi state media has reported the coalition was intensifying its air raids on the militia’s positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.
The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the militants closed in on his last remaining territory in and around second city Aden.
The conflict has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 24 million Yemenis — more than two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.