HATHAZARI, Chittagong: Protesting vehemently the remarks of Posts and Telecommunications Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui in New York, Hefazat-e Islam Bangladesh has demanded his expulsion from the cabinet within the next 24 hours.
Otherwise, it has threatened that Latif Siddiqui will not be allowed to keep his feet on the country's soil.
At the same time, the organisation has demanded arrest and exemplary punishment of Latif Siddiqui.
The demands were made by the leaders of Hefazat-e Islam Bangladesh through a statement on Monday afternoon.
In an opinion-sharing meeting in New York on Sunday afternoon, Latif Siddiqui said: "I vehemently oppose the Hajj and Tablig Jamaat. Every year one lakh people go to Saudi Arabia on an average and each of them spends Tk 5 lakh. So they spend a total of Tk 500 crore. These people don't have any work. They're not involved in any production. They are only for reduction. They only eat and waste the country's money abroad."
Explaining the reasons behind the introduction of Hajj, he said, "Abullah's son Muhammad thought how people of Jajiratul Arab would survive. They were robbers. Then he introduced a system asking his followers to assemble once in a year in Makkah. Through this system, a scope of income was generated," he said.
In their statement, Hefazat-e Islam said, "Showing total disregard to the holy Hajj, pilgrims and Prophet Muhammad (SM), Abdul Latif Siddui made indecent remarks in New York. We call upon the government to expel him from the cabinet as early as possible and demand his arrest and punishment for hurting the religious sentiments of thousands of Muslims in Bangladesh."
In their statement, the Hefazat leaders warned that if the government fails to take necessary action against Latif Siddiqui, country's thousands of pious Muslims would take to street again like 2013.
The Hefazat leaders said they wondered how a man like Latif Siddiqui dared to make indecent remarks against Hajj, pilgrims and Tablig Jamaat being a part of the prime minister's entourage. "We are shocked, surprised and shamed," they said.
The Hefazat-e Islam leaders also warned that Abdul Latif Siddiqui awaits the consequences of Salman Rushdee and Taslima Nasreen if the government does not take punitive measures against him.
The statement was issued by Hefazat-e Islam senior Nayeb-e-Ameer Allama Muhibullah Babunagari, Nayeb-e-Ameer Moulana Noor Hosayn Kashemi, Moulana Shamsul Alam, Moulana Shah Ahmadullah Ashraf, Moulana Abdul Malek Halim, Moulana Tofazzal Hosayn Habiganj, Mufto Mozaffar Ahmad and Moulana Junayed Babunagari.