Muslim cleric up for sex abuse
28/03/2005 17:17 - (SA)

Dhaka - A Muslim cleric who ran an Islamic religious school for girls in Bangladesh has been accused of having sex with his students and forcing those who became pregnant to have abortions, a news report said on Monday.

The Bangladesh Observer quoted local police in northern Lalmonirhat district as saying a criminal case of rape was filed against Maulana Nazmul Haq after a 15-year-old female student of the madrassa, or Islamic school, went for an abortion.

The female student reportedly told police that Haq had regular sexual relations with several resident students.

Local police officer Zakir Hossain said at least nine girls were sexually violated by Haq, with two of them forced to abort their pregnancies.

The Islamic school is located in the remote village of Tongbhanga in Lalmonirhat district 430km north of Dhaka. - Sapa-dpa


Bangladesh arrests fugitive Islamic cleric suspected in assassination attempt

Oct. 3, 2005

Investigators are questioning an Islamic cleric suspected in an assassination plot against a top Bangladeshi political leader, an intelligence official said Sunday.

Mufti Abdul Hannan _ a fugitive earlier sentenced in absentia to life in prison for possessing illegal weapons _ was arrested Saturday by members of an elite anti-crime force, said Lt. Col. Gulzaruddin Ahmed, director of the force's intelligence wing. Hannan had been in hiding since 2000. Hannan's wife and four children were also arrested Saturday at a rented home in the capital, Dhaka, Ahmed said, adding that the family members were later freed. Hannan The officials also seized bomb-making materials, Ahmed said. On Sunday, interrogators were trying to determine if Hannan was linked to a wave of more than 400 bomb blasts that killed two people and injured 125 people across Bangladesh within an hour on Aug. 17. The bombs were small and apparently homemade. No one claimed the responsibility for the bombings, but leaflets from the banned Islamic group Jumatul Mujahedin were found at all the blast sites. The group wants to establish harsh Islamic laws in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh, which is governed by secular laws. Authorities have arrested nearly 400 suspects, many of them suspected members of the banned group. Police have said Hannan is the prime suspect in a plot to assassinate then-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in July 2000, when a large bomb was planted where Hasina was scheduled to address a rally. The bomb was found before it exploded. Media reports claimed Hannan had studied in an Islamic school in Pakistan in the early 1980s, then slipped into neighboring India where he studied in another such school for six years. He also reportedly had military training in Pakistan, then went to Afghanistan to fight against then-Soviet occupation. A Dhaka court on Sunday was expected to rule that officials could keep Hannan in custody for more questioning, a Dhaka metropolitan police official said on condition of anonymity.


Top Bangla cleric held for bomb explosions

23 August 2005

DHAKA — A prominent Muslim cleric in Bangladesh was arrested yesterday for his alleged role in the August 17 bomb attacks across the country which killed two people and injured 200, officials said.

The cleric, identified as Maulana Fariduddin Mahfuz, was arrested at the airport in Dhaka as he prepared to board a flight to a Gulf country.

Mahfuz, who once headed the state-run Islamic Foundation, is accused of trying to flee the country after intelligence agencies unearthed proof of his involvement in the series of cross-country explosions which triggered nationwide panic.

The foundation publishes books and organises seminars on Islam besides running the biggest mosque in the country.


Bangladesh cleric tells Muslims not to fly ‘infidel’ flags during World Cup

Sunday, May 28, 2006

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi cleric has called on Muslims not to fly the flags of any “infidel” nations playing in the World Cup as football fever gripped the sports-mad country.

“Muslims should refrain from flying the flags of infidel countries,” Jahanigir Kabir, head cleric of the main mosque in the northern town of Ishwardi, said Saturday. He made the statement a day after he issued a similar message in a sermon to more than 1,000 devotees at weekly prayers in Ishawardi, around 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Dhaka. Kabir’s call came as thousands of flags of World Cup football favourites fluttered over Bangladesh’s cities and towns with the tournament less than two weeks away. Most of the flags flying from the rooftops of houses and windows of apartments are of the two World Cup favourites – Argentina and Brazil – as most football fans support the team of either one nation or the other. But some fans were also flying the flags of Germany, France and Italy. Kabir said a Muslim flying the flag of a non-Muslim country was unIslamic and represented an “alien culture.” “In the past we have seen young men getting into brawls over their favourite team and they stage victory parades when their favourite teams win. These acts are un-Islamic,” Kabir told AFP. The month-long World Cup beginning June 9 is expected to draw record television audiences in the sport-obsessed South Asian nation. afp