Arrested leaders of pro-Caliphate Hefazat-e-Islam have told interrogators about existence of an organization named ‘Rabetat-Ul-Wayezin’, through which countrywide Islamic waz mahfils were controlled by them. It may be mentioned here that, during the recent years, extremely provocative sermons promoting violent Islam are being pronounced in most of the waz mahfils in Bangladesh, while such contents are then uploaded on YouTube channels, thus spreading it throughout the world. It is also learned, Hefazat-e-Islam had already established connections with several Islamist groups in India, including West Bengal, while it has also connections with militancy outfits such as Hizbul Mujahedin.
The investigation agency sources told Blitz, one of the main objectives of Rabetat-Ul-Wayezin was establishing control over waz mahfils in Bangladesh and pushing Hefazat members as speakers in those events. Every Hefazat-e-Islam member attending those waz mahfils as speakers were well-briefed about promoting radical Islam and militancy and spread anti-India sentiment alongside religious hatred. The speakers also were assigned to defame secularist individuals and organizations as well as democratic forces. Because of Hefazat-e-Islam’s direct influence, waz mahfils in Bangladesh have already become one of the key factors of promoting religious extremism and militancy.
Hefazat-e-Islam’s YouTube channels
Hefazat has succeeded in establishing hundreds of channels on YouTube, through which the pro-Caliphate organization has been spreading religious extremism and madness of militancy. According to statistics obtained by this newspaper, the pro-Caliphate organization and its activists are earning few thousand dollars everyday only from the YouTube channels, which are used as one of the key tools of the cyber units of Hefazat-e-Islam.
Hefazat-e-Islam’s cyber warriors
Hefazat-e-Islam has formed a team of cyber warriors comprising madrassa students and teachers with the goal of establishing dominance in the social media, especially Facebook. According to information, at the instruction of the high-command of the pro-Caliphate group, number of teams of cyber warriors have been formed with every team containing 20-25 thousand madrassa students and teachers. Responsibility of these cyber warriors is to keep eyes on social media posts and bombard with comments on any post that is found against Hefazat-e-Islam or its leaders. Accordingly, cyber warriors of Hefazat are active on the social media in countering majority of the posts – be it against Hefazat-e-Islam or any post in favor of secularism.