Bangladesh has begun to screen Friday sermons in mosques, in an effort to control the proliferation of extremist ideas in the country. Bangladesh has also blocked ‘Peace TV’, the channel run by Zakir Naik, a preacher who ‘inspired’ extremist Islam radicals. The decision was taken by senior government officials, who have also decided to implement stringent action against those preachers who spread hatred among religions.
Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina’s aim is to fight against Islamic terrorism that is bloodying Bangladesh. Recent episodes include the deadly attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery Cafe in Dhaka, in which 20 people died.
Investigations have revealed a direct link between the five terrorists, all from wealthy families, apparently unsatisfied with their well-off lives, and preachers who praise the holy war against the infidels. One of these is the Indian Zakir Naik, who is the ‘most popular’ on television. He is the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation and supports radical Islamic Salafi positions, which he disseminates through his TV channel.
While the Indian authorities have placed his sermons under observation, Dhaka went a step ahead and decided to block his channel. Minister of Industry, Amir Hossain Amu, presided over a meeting of the Committee for public order and asked the proprietor of the Ministry of Information to render immediately enforceable the government’s directive.
Bangladesh is home to 160 million inhabitants and the majority are Muslim, who worship in about 600 thousand mosques nationwide, where imams often provoke young people to fight for the imposition of so-called ‘Islamic’ ideas.
Citing Prime Minister Hasina, Ihsanul Karim, in charge of relations with the press, said: “We will be tough when necessary and we will uproot terrorism. These attacks take place at a time when Bangladesh is emerging as a model of development is renewing its image. We will fight the man-made disasters in the same way that we struggle against natural disasters”.
Right on, Bangladesh!