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News analysis

Anything Islamic is Jamaat to them

By Special Correspondent
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Contradictory remarks by Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu on Tuesday over donation of  Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited [IBBL] for 'Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla' programme,  has surprised all. The donation was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself if she was misguided her advisers are to be blamed first. When Inu and some leftist parties are critical for   taking money  from IBBL and asked the Cultural Ministry to return it, the Cultural Minister Noor rejected the allegation of taking any money  from the IBBL. Inu fuelled the controversy when he said  that the money donated by IBBL should be returned treating as Jamaat's money.  The print and electronic media however, carried  reports along with photographs that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was receiving cheque amounting to Tk 3 crore from a high official of IBBL at Gono Bhaban on March 14.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 14 received donations for the Independence Day event and the T20 World Cup from telecom companies, corporate institutes, power companies, state and private banks and insurance companies.In this backdrop, Noor at  a press briefing at his office  on Tuesday denied having  taken  any money from the IBBL for the Independence Day's programme. "No donation has been taken from IBBL for the March 26 programme.  We did not accept any kind of such aid, which will hurt people's emotions.Though there is no legal bar about taking aid from IBBL as it's a legal commercial bank, we didn't involve them and anyone can check it", he said.  Meanwhile, the Islami Bank has said it has donated Tk 30 million for the Independence Day event in which thousands are expected to sing the national anthem to set a world record.Executive Vice-President Ataur Rahman told the media "Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Vice-Chairman Engineer Mustafa Anwar on Mar 14 handed over the Tk 30 million cheque to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for that event." Rahman said Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and Prime Minister's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury were also present at the time.Some persons without worthy political background but too anxious to prove their liberation war involvement will find anything Islamic is Jamaat-e-Islam. It should not be unknown to them that Islami Bank of Bangladesh is an International Bank and not a Jamaat's Bank. Bangladesh Bank knows it best that IBBL is not owned by Jamaat-e-Islam. Anybody visiting the website of IBBL will find the share-holders of the Bank and also other details. Like other commercial banks IBBL has also been generously contributing to host games and sports in the country and also promote cultural activities, it should be recalled. Nobody should claim justifiably that it will offend people's emotion if any money is taken from Jamaat. They have proved in Upazila elections that people are not ready to buy that present Jamaat followers are anti-Bangladesh or terrorists. Some former leftist elements in Awami League led government are intolerant to anything Islamic and making the Awami League isolated from the people. These elements are strangers  to our people. Without Awami League they will be nowhere.  It is so sad and disappointing how the government is being misled. That Awami League is not in the leadership seat is the most unfortunate aspect of politics in Bangladesh.

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