Our attention was lately drawn to a petition drive in change.org to oust the current IGP of Bangladesh - Mr. A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque.
Apparently, the initiators of the petition drive were upset about his briefing in August 2015 where he urged bigoted freethinkers in Bangladesh not to “cross the limit,” noting that “if anyone hurts [another person’s religious] […] feelings, he will be punished by the law.” According to the petition, Mr. Hoque also encouraged people to notify police and file a case if they come across any writings that hurt religious feelings.
The BEC fully endorses the IGP's stand on this vital issue noting that many of the so-called free-thinkers are very disrespectful of Islam and its noble Prophet Muhammad (S). They have been spreading hatred and intolerance against Muslims. Such activities can never be condoned in a free society where religious harmony and respect are the founding blocks. In our opinion, the bigoted freethinkers are extremists and no better than their counterparts that use religion to create hatred and intolerance.
As our chairman, Dr. Habib Siddiqui, has repeatedly mentioned in many of his Op/Ed columns extremists of any kind are dangers to the society, and must be stopped.
The extremist freethinkers have been abusing their freedom of expression to hurt the feelings of billions of law-abiding, peaceful and peace-loving Muslims. In that process, they have forgotten the age-old wisdom that while a person has every right and freedom to stretch his/her arms that freedom, however, becomes an abuse when someone is hurt.
Respect for religion is a cornerstone of our policy. Therefore, we urge Bangladeshi expats to ignore the petition drive against the IGP, and any such misguided initiatives that are aimed to create division and hatred.
Board of Directors, BEC