Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday said a radical communal group is spreading hatred among the country’s pious people by misinterpreting Islam over the installation of Bangabandhu’s sculpture.
He made the remarks while inaugurating the 22nd Young Artists’ Fine Art Exhibition at the Shilpakala Academy.Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, joined the programme virtually from his official residence on the parliament premises in the capital.
He said the communal force is behind the opposition to the installation of the sculpture, a powerful medium of fine arts. The government has moved to erect a sculpture of Bangabandhu at historic Suhrawardy Udyan.
However, Syed Mohammad Faizul Karim, senior nayeb-e-ameer of Islami Andolon Bangladesh, and Mamunul Haque, acting secretary general of Bangladesh Khilafat Majlish, recently threatened to throw sculpture into the Buriganga River if it is installed.
Quader said the threat to throw Bangabandhu’s sculpture into Buriganga by the extremist group is a challenge to the country’s history and culture.
He, however, warned that the government will handle the issue with an iron hand if the vested quarter makes any attempt to jeopardise the prevailing religious harmony in the country. “The vested quarter is trying to bring the religious issues to the fore after failing to find anything else,” he said.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, Shilpakala Academy Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky, its Director Syeda Mahbuba Karim and artist Shaheed Kabir, among others, spoke at the function.