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

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.


Japan weighing visit by Iran’s President Rouhani

Updated 09 December 2019

Japan weighing visit by Iran’s President Rouhani

  • Japan has been trying to forge a possible mediator role as tensions rise between its ally US and Iran
  • If the trip is confirmed, Rouhani would become the first Iranian president to visit Japan since 2000

TOKYO: Japan is weighing inviting Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani for a state visit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday, as local media reported the trip was likely to happen this month.
Japan has been trying to forge a possible mediator role as tensions rise between its ally Washington and Tehran.
Local media has reported in recent days that Rouhani is likely to visit Tokyo around December 20, with some reports saying Washington has green-lighted the trip.
“A visit by President Rouhani to Japan is now under consideration,” Abe said at a press conference marking the end of the year’s parliamentary session.
“Japan, which has an alliance with the US and at the same time has maintained favorable relations with Iran for a long time, must forge its own path,” he said.
“I want to make diplomatic efforts as much as possible to help ease tensions and stabilize the situation in the region by continuing dialogue patiently,” he added.
If the trip is confirmed, Rouhani would become the first Iranian president to visit Japan since 2000.
Japan and Iran have maintained a good relationship despite recent regional turmoil, with resource-poor Japan heavily reliant on imports of oil from the Middle East.
Abe traveled to Iran in June and met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as Rouhani. He met Rouhani again in New York during this year’s UN General Assembly.
The proposed visit comes as tensions remain high between Tehran and Washington, despite a prisoner swap last week.
On Sunday, Rouhani announced a “budget of resistance” against US sanctions targeting the country’s vital oil sector.
US President Donald Trump began imposing punitive measures in May 2018, after unilaterally withdrawing from an accord that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for limits on its nuclear program.