We heave a sigh of relief over the turn of events in Chittagong in which the Gonojagoron Mancha and the Hefazate Islam opted for disengagement from their previous programmes.
In a bid to assert their non-violent stance and avoid confrontation, the Gonojagoron Mancha took a commendable step to withdraw their previous programme of holding a grand rally before Chittagong Press Club on Wednesday. This was to press for their six-point demands which the Islamist group wanted to resist.
The Qaumi madrasa-based radical Islamist outfit, Hefazate Islam, on the other hand, took an equally commendable stance, and called off the hartal they had declared before.
The government rightly clamped Section 144 to avert any untoward fallout as both sides were on a collision course regarding their programmes.
The Gonojagoron Mancha has not only clung to its non-violent stance, but has also iterated its position of not falling into any trap. Appreciably, by calling off the hartal, the Islamist group has also demonstrated that they understood the gravity of the situation.
The Gonojagoron Mancha is reportedly trying to engage Islamists in a dialogue to persuade them to allay their misgivings about their being “anti-Islamic.”
The Hefazate Islam is learnt to have told the Chittagong district administrator that they also dislike Jamaat and want that the war criminals be tried. And what is further reassuring is that they have moved from the stance of blanket negative profiling of bloggers.
In the light of the above, we would wholeheartedly welcome any prospect of dialogue between the two sides in order that they understand and appreciate each other’s position better.
We think there has been a misunderstanding between the two sides about their respective positions. It is of vital importance that an understanding is reached between our younger generation and the religious elders. On the one hand, there cannot be any question of permitting any insult to our religion. Equally, our values of independence and Liberation War must be embraced by all. We see no ground for misunderstanding between them.