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Hefajat wants blasphemy law: Asks govt to punish ‘atheist’ bloggers if it wants to stay in power
ICC Note:
Hefajat-e-Islam is an extremist Islamist group that is demanding a “blasphemy law with provisions for death penalty for people making derogatory remarks on Allah, Islam and the Quran.” Obviously, such a law would be detrimental for the country, specifically for religious minorities.  The group is demanding this law if the government wants to stay in power. The next few weeks may prove to be very important for the future of Bangladesh.
4/7/2013 Bangladesh (newagebd)- Tens of thousands of Islamists from across the country joined Hefajat-e-Islam’s rally at Matijheet in the capital on Saturday to press for ‘death’ to the ‘atheist’ bloggers and branded Awami League government as ‘atheist’.
Leaders of Hefajat, a platform of some Islamist groups mostly from Qwami madrassah background, demanded enactment of ‘blasphemy law’ for ensuring highest punishment for derogatory remarks on Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (SM) and stopping ‘free mixing’ of men and women.
They claimed that the aim of their movement was to protect Islam, not to do politics.
‘Our major demands are reinstatement of the phrase “absolute trust and faith in Almighty Allah” in the constitution, enactment of a blasphemy law with provisions for death penalty for people making derogatorary remarks on Allah, Islam and the Quran, and exemplary punishment of the “atheist” bloggers for “mocking” Allah and the Prophet (SM),’ Hefajat chief Shah Ahmed Shafi said while addressing the rally.
In his written speech, the 93-year-old Islamist leader also said that the government would have to accept the demands if it wanted to stay in power or to go to power again in the next elections.
He demanded repeal of the existing education policy and the women development policy branding them ‘anti-Islamic’.
‘The human sea at Motijheel proves that the atheists have no place in the country which is the land of Muslims,’ said Shafi, also director general of Hathajari Madrassah in Chittagong.
He said truth would prevail over lies.
Shafi who mounted the podium at 2:40pm concluded the rally leading prayers as his son Anas Madani read out the speech on behalf of his ailing father.
As he read out his father’s statement thousands of Hefajat activists raised their hands shouting ‘hang the atheist bloggers’ to counter the slogan of Shahbagh protesters who were demanding capital punishment for the war criminals and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir.

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