Not against Bangabandhu but against Bangabandhu statue: Mamunul
Mamunul Haque, the new joint secretary general of Hifazat-e Islam, has explained his opposition to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's statue.
"We are against the statue but by no means against Bangabandhu," he said.
Mamunul, who is also
acting secretary general of Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, a party formed by his father Azizul Haque, spoke at a press conference at its headquarters in Dhaka's Purana Paltan on Sunday afternoon.
"I fully respect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the great architect of independence, as a Muslim leader. I pray for his departed soul. I'm never against such a late national leader and I don't support it (being against a leader like Bangabandhu)," he said.
Islamists objected to the construction of Bangabandhu's statue at a rally under the banner of 'Towhidi Janata Oikya Parishad' in Dhaka's Gendaria on Nov 13.
Mamunul, who heads Bangladesh Khelafat Jubo Majlish, opposed the construction of Bangabandhu's statue at a separate programme of the organisation at the BMA Auditorium in the capital the same day.
He could not join a religious gathering in Chattogram's Hathazari on Friday due to protests by the ruling Awami League's affiliates against his comments on Bangabandhu's statue.
Hifazat chief Junaid Babunagari, while addressing the gathering as chief guest, threatened to pull down statues no matter which party erects them.
Mamunul on Sunday said he raised his voice against Bangabandhu's statue because statues are "un-Islamic".
"But a certain quarter is trying to prove that I spoke against Bangabandhu. This is an evil attempt," he said.
He claimed many were falsely alleging that he was working to accomplish a hidden agenda of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a party that had opposed Bangladesh's independence.
"The administration is being provoked against me based on wrong information," he said.
Mamunul also demanded release of the madrasa students and his other supporters who were arrested for clashing with the police in Dhaka on Friday during protests against the demonstration by an organisation, named the Muktijuddho Mancha, which called for the arrest of Mamunul.