DHAKA: After being accused of “sucking blood” from the poor, Bangladesh's only Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus faces a new state-backed hate campaign seeking to paint him as unIslamic and a spreader of homosexuality.
Following years of attempts to discredit his legacy as a pioneer of micro-finance — since copied the world over as a development tool — the hounding has turned more personal and dangerous.
The perceived crime of the 73-year-old was to sign a joint statement along with three other Nobel laureates in April 2012 criticising the prosecution of gay people in Uganda
. Little remarked at the time, it has since been seized on by the Islamic Foundation, a government religious bod
y, and amplified through tens of thousands of imams on its payrolls.Protests have been held, leaflets calling him “an accomplice of Jews and Christians” have been distributed, and a “grand rally” has been called for Oct 31 in Dhaka to denounce him.
“How can a state-run organisation run a campaign of criminal intimidation? It'll instigate violence against professor Yunus,” Sara Hossain, a top lawyer and rights activist, warned in an interview with AFP.
The harassment has echoes of another movement against feminist writer and religious critic Taslima Nasreen who was forced to flee the country after being denounced like Yunus. “It's unfortunate that he's facing the kind of campaign that I faced in 1994,” Nasreen told AFP. “I was forced to leave the country because of the campaign by the fundamentalists, which the then government actively supported.”
Yunus has been at odds with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2007 when he made a brief foray into the country's violent and polarised politics which is dominated by Hasina's family and her arch-rival Khaleda Zia. Yunus's recent statement calling for free and fair elections in January 2014 is also thought to have angered Hasina
following changes to the electoral process and a crackdown on the opposition.
The Islamic Foundation is part of the Ministry of Religious Affairs with a mandate to promote Islam. Director General Shamim Mohammad Afzal told AFP that it was his “moral responsibility” as a Muslim and head of the organisation to take a stand against the man nicknamed the “banker to the poor”.“His statement has gone against the Quran and Hadith,” Afzal told AFP
.In speeches to clerics all over the country, Afzal has told them of their religious duty to protest Yunus's stand on homosexuality.
One imam told AFP that he had been pressured to join rallies against his wishes. The imam, who works in a southern district and asked not to be named, said clerics were asked to hold banners and distribute leaflets printed by the local Islamic Foundation office.“Yunus has become an apostate for supporting homosexuality.
He must publicly apologise, or we'll force him to leave the country like Taslima Nasreen,” Maolana Moniruzzaman Rabbani, an organiser of anti-Yunus campaign, told AFP. Rabbani is the secretary of a committee that helps run the state-funded national mosque in Dhaka and a deputy chief of an Islamic political party allied with the government.
“I don't think they can force Yunus to leave the country,” said Nasreen. “Unlike me, he has many powerful friends. But this campaign is going to bring a bad name for the country. No government should appease these fundamentalists.”
Bangladesh is 90 per cent Muslim. Although it is officially secular, Islam is the state religion. Homosexuality is a crime punishable by a maximum life term but prosecutions are rare. She forgot the struggles of the foks of Bangladesh and she forgot her own father and family and who killed them.. .................
Well that is the news read it all at the link..
This Stupid Idiot, being a lady ... who came in to power after that coup through a elections is putting her head in TO ISLAMIC SNAKE ASS. She thinks she can win that 2014 elections by doing that..
I am sure that video is the reason for the persecution of dr. Yunus. Once they think they are powerful and that power gets in to their heads., men or women they all behave like an assholes.. They all are same.