On Wednesday (April 7), the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested one Islamic hate preacher named Rafiqul Islam Madani from his residence in Netrokona in the Mymensingh Division of Bangladesh.
As per reports, he has been charged under Digital Security Act for inciting violence and making objectionable remarks against the government. A case was lodged against the preacher at the Gaccha police station in Gazipur. Madani was produced before the Gazipur judicial magistrate court on Thursday and then sent to jail. On preliminary investigation, the RAB found adult content on his mobile phone and said that it proved that Madani is a ‘fraud’ preacher.
His arrest comes at the backdrop of a video uploaded on Jannat TV 24 on March 12 wherein Rafiqul Islam Madani was seen inciting his followers to follow Allah’s rules and disregard the Constitution and law. He said, “There cannot be administrative orders in the land of Allah. This is why I don’t obey any order. In my dictionary or Constitution, I don’t recognise any Prime Minister, President or MP if they go against Islam…What can you do?”
He further challenged, “You can assault, imprison or even hang me for this. You (referring to the Prime Minister and the President) do what your law or Constitution says and I will do what my Allah says. I will respect the President only if he respects Allah and Islam.”
“Learn that if you throw stones (at us), you will get hit by bricks. If you don’t learn, then, you will find yourself in a dangerous situation. We are not against you. Come back to our fold”, the Islamic preacher threatened Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party.
Who is Rafiqul Islam Madani?
The 26-year-old Hefazat-e-Islam preacher rose to national prominence in Bangladesh through his fiery speeches against the Awami League government on Youtube. He hails from Ledirkanda village in Purbadhala Upazila. A midget by height, Rafiqul Islam Madani is popularly known as shishu bokta (child preacher). Born into a poor family, he studied at the Jamia Hussainia Malni Madrasa and completed his masters’ degree in Islamic studies (Dawra-e-Hadith) from Jamia Madani Madrasa in Dhaka in 2019.
Rafiqul Islam Madani decided to become an orator and soon reached thousands of followers through social media. He now operates two madrassas in Gazipur and Netrokona and earns anywhere between TK2000 to Tk50,000 per waz mehfil (gatherings where sermons are given). He received legal notice for using the title ‘Madani’ despite not being a graduate from the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia. He was earlier detained on March 26 in Motijheel area over inciting people to lead violent protests against PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka.
Rafiqul Islam Madani provokes Muslims to die for Islam
In another video uploaded by Jannat TV24 on April 7, Rafiqul Islam Madani was seen provoking Muslims to die for Islam. “We have to free this country and Isla, from the hands of the Mafia government and infidels…There must be one religious Head for all Islamic institutions. Under his directions, we will paralyse the government system and free this country from the hands of the mafias. If necessary, we will cede power to the army,” he said.
Furthermore, he instigated his followers by alleging that the student wing of the Awami League will kill him and other such preachers. Rafiqul Islam Madani said that all rebellious clerics are under the surveillance of the Intelligence agencies of Bangladesh. “Today, I cannot do jihad. They may torture me, assault me on the road or kill me. I do not want to died in vain,” he lamented.
“I want to be martyred for the right cause on the call of Allah. I don’t want to die otherwise. That’s why I try to remain safe. Although we want to die, there is no platform to do so. We want to die. We want to sacrifice our lives. Lacs of people are willing to die in this country (for Islam). Who do you fear?” he asked.
Islamist wants Bangladeshi Muslims to capture Delhi
Ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, Rafiqul Islam Madani put out a video message condemning his visit to the country. “We will not let Modi step on the soil of Bangladesh. All our Ullemas will prove it tomorrow,” he warned. Quoting Sheikh Mujibur Rehaman, he threatened that whether 18 crore Bangladeshi Muslims were powerful or Modi’s stooges would be proven during his visit.
“If we have to be martyred opposing Modi, then, we are all willing to be martyred,” Madani provoked Muslims to die if such a need arises. As a result of his hateful speeches, several rioters hit the streets resulting in 20 of them being killed by the police. On March 26, the Islamist preacher was detained along with 30 others for his provocative remarks. The country witnessed widespread violence, destruction of Hindu temples, arson and vandalism, especially in Brahmanbaria and Chittagong.
“If Allama Madani’s progeny in India call us to capture Delhi, then, we will go and do it. No power in the world can stop us. No power or fence can stop us. Our love for Muslims is so strong that we will take a long march to Delhi. Muslims love Allah and fellow Muslims,” he laid out his ridiculous plans to capture the Indian National Capital..”Keep your Iman (Faith) strong. Go to the battlefield. If you die, it will be martyred,” he concluded.
Rafiqul Islam Madani encourages people to unleash violence like till Bangladesh becomes truly ‘Islamic’
While speaking on the violence that took place in the aftermath of PM Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, he said, “In the last 4 days, the people of Hefazat-e-Islam have showed lacs of people are willing to die for the cause. 20 people died. More than 20 lakh people are ready to do it. We are waiting for a call. You guys are afraid that you might be jailed or remanded in custody. There is nothing to fear.”
“You cannot believe that the Bangladesh government is not working on its own terms anymore. It is running on Hindutva and Modi’s direction. Whatever Modi wants, happens in this country. This is the case with Awami League, Chatra League and Sheikh Hasina,” the hate preacher added.
“Today, all temples are being upgraded and the mosques here are dying. This means whoever will speak against Modi will be tortured and jailed… In the name of lockdown, they will shut down mosques and madrassas. We will not follow anything… We want this country to be a true Islamic Republic,” Rafiqul Islam Madani concluded.
Islamists attack Hindu temples, crematorium in Bangladesh during PM Modi’s visit
During the official 2-day visit on PM Modi to Bangladesh, Islamists attacked Hindu Temples to protest against him. Violent protests have been underway in Bangladesh over the visit by the Indian Prime Minister and some protesters have died during attempts by the police to enforce law and order.
At the same time, three rooms of the 400-year-old Paruarkul Ashtagram Maha crematorium and Radhagobind Ashram were burnt down by unidentified miscreants in Mohammadpur Upazila of Bangladesh’s Magura district. Parts of three houses, chariots and idols were also reduced to ashes in the fire which was later brought under control.
Earlier, it was reported that Facebook services were down in Bangladesh in light of the violent protests. Border Guards have been deployed to enforce law and order on the streets. The Hefazat-e-Islami is a hardline Islamist organisation, whose members have been accused of persecuting Hindus in the past.