Cut off supply for extremists

29 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

In a Muslim majority country, it is very easy and normal to collect funds by utilising people’s sympathy to bear the expense of the children living and studying in residential Qawmi madrasas. But the amount is assumed not to be as big as transacted through the bank account of Mamunul, the joint secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam, a radical Islamist organisation. Earlier, 'The Economist' reported that the group is financed by doctrinaire Islamists of a certain Middle East country. Now the investigation officials have confirmed identifying 313 financers of Hefazat-e-Islam who carried out violent activities in different parts of the country in March. Besides, the law enforcement agencies have collected evidence of transactions of as much as sixty million taka through Mamunul’s bank accounts. It is very simple to assume that Mamunul is not alone in this list and there are many others whose bank accounts are also being used for transacting money.

It is for sure that transaction of such a large amount is done not only to arrange livelihood of students; rather there must be some other reasons. The law enforcement agencies have to find out the reasons behind this financing along with exposing the financers. Besides, it is their duty to find out the purposes for which the funds were spent. On the other hand, the reasons behind the plot against Shah Ahmad Shafi by some Hefazat leaders to remove him from the post of Amir has to be given due importance. It may be remembered that Shafi belonged to a band of Islamists that, critics say, were very unlike Jamaat-e-Islami; more over they did not oppose Bangladesh’s independence, rather supported a united India and rejected the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

Besides solving these issues, the law enforcement agencies should cut off relations between the financers and the radical groups trying to destabilise the country and destroy one of the basic pillars of Bangladesh states: secularism. But then, there must be a provision that every single religious education centre must submit their annual balance sheet to the authorities for maintaining transparency in their income and expenditure. If extremism cannot be uprooted completely from the country, at least there must be ways to cut off the sources of finance for these fanatic forces for the sake of safety and security of the country.