Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh
Hefajate islam logo.jpg
The logo of Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh
Formation January 2010; 4 years ago (2010-01)
Type Islamic fundamentalism[1]
Headquarters Chittagong, Bangladesh
Region served Bangladesh
Official language Bangla
Amir Ahmad Shafi

Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh (Bengali: হেফাজতে ইসলাম বাংলাদেশ;) also known as Hifazat-e-Islam Bangladesh is an association based fundamentalist Islamic group in Bangladesh, was formed in January 2010.[2][3] This group, politically backed by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was formed in 2010 to protest against the secular education policy of Bangladeshi government. In 2011, they showed violent demonstrations against the women's equal rights policy of the government and in 2013, became headlines after holding large rallies asking the government to take action against the Shahbag protesters, who are demanding capital punishment of Bangladesh liberation war criminals.[2][4][5][6] In 2013 this group warn government with 13 point charter, which includes banning the woman right of work outside, execution of so-called atheist bloggers and stopping Shahbag protests.[7][8] German ambassador Albrecht Conze in Bangladesh says Hifazat's demands fundamentalism in Bangladesh.[1]


In January 2010, Hefazat-e-Islam was formed, comprising the teachers of more than one hundred Kawmi madrasas at Chittagong, Bangladesh. The formation was triggered by the 2009 Women Development Policy draft, which would have given women equal rights by inheritance.[9] Ahmad Shafi, the director of Hathazari Madrasa and Mufti Izharul Islam, the chairman of the Islamist party Islami Oikya Jote, are regarded as the founders of Hefazat-e-Islam, Bangladesh.[2][10] The group was formed to protest the government's secular policies in education and politics.[2][3]

Protest against secular education policy in 2010[edit]

Within a month after formation Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh started violence at Chittagong. They engaged thousands of madrasa students in this violence. They were protesting the secular education policy and demanded presence of religion-based politics.[2][3] A few of these madrasa students were captured by police and later released.[11]

Protest against 'equal right' for women policy in 2011[edit]

In 2011 Hefajat-e-Islam protested some aspects of the proposed national women development policy, which is contrasting to the Bangladeshi Culture.[5][12]

Activities in 2013[edit]

In 2013 Hefajat-e-Islam popped up again and started protests against the Shahbag movement, which is demanding capital punishment for Bangladesh liberation war criminals.[4] Hefajat termed all the Shahbag protesters as "atheist". They arranged a rally towards capital city Dhaka, demanding execution of so-called "atheist bloggers" and a blasphemy law.[13][14][15]

13 points of the Islamist group includes:[16]

  • execution of so called atheist bloggers;
  • demand of blasphemy law;
  • cancellation of the country's pro-women development policy;
  • ban on the mixing of men and women in public;
  • end to "shameless behavior and dresses"; and
  • rule that the Ahmadiyya sect as non-Muslim.

Long march in April[edit]

On April 6, 2013, Hefajat-e-Islam organized a long march towards the Motijheel area in Dhaka from Chittagong, Sylhet and Rajshahi to push for their 13-point demand.[17] Awami League leader Nowsher Khan has died of head injuries during a clash between his party activists and those of Hifazat-e Islam at Bhanga in Faridpur district.[18] Hefajat supporters also attacked at a rally of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee in Dhaka from their procession, and several people including a policeman were injured in an attack.[19] Hefajat supporters also attacked on Projonmo Chattar in Shahbag, which injured Professor Afsar Ahmed, the ProVC of Jahangirnagar University.[20] They threatened the journalists, and even beat a female journalist from Ekushey TV, named Nadia Sharmin.[21][22]

May 5 violence[edit]

On May 5, 2013, Hefajat arranged a siege and rally at the capital city, Dhaka in the demand of their 13-points.[23] They attacked the Communist Party of Bangladesh's office at Motijheel and burnt it.[24][25] The supporters of the Hefajat-e Islam vandalized and torched at least 50 vehicles and several buildings during their rally at Motijheel.[26] A clash was also carried out by them in front of the ruling party Awami League's headquarter at Paltan, Dhaka.[27] Hefajat supporters set fire to book stores located beside the south gate of the National Mosque Baitul Mukarram during their program.[28] They also assaulted two on-duty television journalists working for private channels before the rally.[29] Because of their violent act during the rally, top leaders of the Hefajat-e Islam have been accused in 12 cases of murder, vandalism, arson and destruction of properties and other charges.[30]

In the early hours of 6 May security forces, drawn from police, the elite Rapid Action Battalion and paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh jointly launched a operation named 2013 Operation at Motijheel Shapla Chattar to prevent Hefazat's violence by driving them out from Dhaka.[31][32][33] At the beginning of operation, police cut the power supply in the city’s commercial area, but the total operation was live telecaste over few TV channel.[34] 2 Television channels were stopped by government for broadcasting misleading informations.[35][36] Hefajat activists continued to strike in Narayanganj, Hathazari and Bagerhat on Monday morning, hours after Hefajat men were flushed out of the capital’s Motijheel area resulting death of at least 27 people including two policemen and a BGB soldier. During the clash Hefajat men hurled cocktails, vandalized and torched vehicles, set fire to a police outpost on the highway.[37][38][39] Some sources confirm that at least 38 people were died,[40][41] which is also rejected by government. According to The Economist European diplomats, as many as 50 people were killed in Dhaka, which didn't provide any diplomat's name.[36][41]

According to government estimates, the number of casualties in this operation was 11, including a few law enforcement members.[42] Hefazat-e-Islam claims that thousands of their members were killed; Human Rights Watch rebutted that claim.[43][44] Independent free media reported total deaths over 30, and possibly up to 50.

According to different free media, the death toll rose to 27, including some law enforcement forces. Twenty of the victims, including two policemen and a BGB soldier, were killed in Narayanganj, and six were killed in Hathazari in Chittagong.[37]

The government has filed 12 cases against top leaders of the Hefajat-e Islam for murder, vandalism, arson and destruction of properties and other charges.[45]

Because of the differing views, Human Rights Watch called for an independent body to investigate the protest deaths,[46][41][47] the poet and activist Farhad Mazhar said the government and media were making a cover-up and disinformation campaign.[48]

Bomb explosion at Hefazat madrasa[edit]

On October 7, 2013 a Hefazat-e-Islam's Nayeb-e-Amir Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury driven Al Jamiatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa at Lal Khan Bazar, Chittagong rocked by a massive explosion.[49][50][51] Later police found hand made bomb was exploded when students of that madrasa making bombs. Police ceased a lot of explosive materials from that madrasa.[49][50][51]

Involvement of pro-Taliban leaders[edit]

Maulana Habibur Rahman, a madrasa principal of Sylhet, who declared in an interview that he has traveled to Afghanistan during the Afghan war in 1988, is one of the organizers of Hefajat-e Islam’s May 5 Dhaka long march.[52] In an interview published in 2004, he revealed his involvement with Osama Bin Laden and another banned Islamist militant organization Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (Huji) Bangladesh. In that interview he said:

“An invitation from Harkat-ul Jihad Al Islami made it possible for me to make the fortunate trip to Afghanistan. Those of us who visited the Afghan war fields during that trip are Shaikhul Hadith, Ataur Rahman Khan, Sultan Jaok, Abdul Mannan, Habibullah, myself and three others.”[52]


  1. ^ a b "Hifazat demands fundamentalism: German Ambassador". bdnews24.com. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Unknown Islamist group flexes its muscles in Ctg". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 25 February 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "৩০ জন আহত, গ্রেপ্তার ৩৯, আট ঘণ্টা সড়ক অবরোধ চট্টগ্রামে হেফাজতে ইসলামের কর্মীদের সঙ্গে পুলিশের সংঘর্ষ (Hefajat-e-Islam clash with police at Chittagong, 30 injured and 39 arrested, road blocked for 8 hours)". Prothom Alo. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "‘Hifazat chief implementing Jamaat agenda’". bdnews24.com. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Bangladesh: 1 dead in clash over women's rights". AP. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "‘Hifazat chief implementing Jamaat agenda’". bdnews24.com. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Habib, Haroon (7 April 2013). "The 13-point demands". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Govt must accede to our demands: Hifazat". bdnews24.com. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Khalidi, Toufique Imrose (6 May 2013). "Behind the rise of Bangladesh's Hefazaat". AL Jazeera. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "19 hurt as new Islamist group holds protest in Chittagong". Hindustan Times. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "All detainees set free in Ctg". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "10 policemen among 20 hurt in Ctg clash". New Age. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Bangladesh Islamists rally against atheist bloggers". AFP. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Bangladesh Islamists rally for blasphemy law". CNN. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Islamist agitation fuels unrest in Bangladesh". Yahoo News. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Govt must accept 13 points if wants to stay in office: Hefajat chief". Pryo News. 06/04/2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Hefajat men headed for Dhaka". The New Age. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Awami leader killed by Hifazat". bdnews24.com. April 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Hifazat attacks strikers in Dhaka". bdnews24.com. April 6, 2013. 
  20. ^ "হেফাজতের সহিংসতায় জাবি প্রো-ভিসি আহত". bangla.bdnews24.com. April 6, 2013. 
  21. ^ "‘নাস্তিকদের শায়েস্তা করি, এরপর মিডিয়া’". bangla.bdnews24.com. April 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ "নারী সাংবাদিককে বেধড়ক পেটালো হেফাজতের লোকজন". bangla.bdnews24.com. April 6, 2013. 
  23. ^ "4 die in Hifazat havoc". bdnews24.com. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Hifazat men burn CPB office". bdnews24.com. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "How could they do it?". The Daily Star. May 7, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Hifazat sets vehicles on fire". bdnews24.com. May 5, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Jamaat behind AL office attack: Alamgir". bdnews24.com. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Hifazat burns Quran, Hadith in blind rage". May 6, 2013. 
  29. ^ "2 scribes beaten up by Hifazat". bdnews24.com. May 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ "12 cases against Hifazat leaders". bdnews24.com. May 6, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Hefajat men flee Motijheel". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). May 6, 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  32. ^ "Govt trashes loss of thousands of lives rumour". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 10 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  33. ^ Bangladesh clashes rage over blasphemy law
  34. ^ "18 cases after Hefazat’s rally in Motijheel". The Daily Ittafaq. May 8, 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "Govt closes 2 TV networks". Dhaka Tribune. May 6, 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  36. ^ a b Political violence in Bangladesh: In hot blood
  37. ^ a b "27 more killed". The Daily Star. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  38. ^ Paul, Ruma. "At least 20 dead in Islamist protests in Bangladesh". Yahoo News. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  39. ^ BNS bears Hefajat brunt
  40. ^ "Clashes over Bangladesh protest leave 27 dead". BBC news (BBC). 6 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  41. ^ a b c Bergman, David; Nelson, Dean (6 May 2013). "36 killed in Dhaka as Islamic militants clash with police". London: The telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  42. ^ "HRW rebuts genocide claim". bdnews24.com. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "HRW rebuts genocide claim". bdnews24.com. 2013-05-11. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  44. ^ "HRW bins genocide claim by BNP, Hefazat". The Daily Sun. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  45. ^ "12 cases against Hifazat leaders". bdnews24.com. May 6, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Clashes over Bangladesh protest leave 27 dead". BBC news. BBC. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  47. ^ "Bangladesh: Independent Body Should Investigate Protest Deaths". New York: Human Rights Watch. May 11, 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  48. ^ "Media manipulation and Motijheel mayhem". Newagebd.com. 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  49. ^ a b "Hifazat madrasa raided, bombs, explosives seized". bdnews24.com. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  50. ^ a b "Explosion at Ctg madrasa". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 7 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  51. ^ a b "Explosion rocks Hefazat madrasa". Dhaka Tribune. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  52. ^ a b "Target Taliban rule". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 7 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.