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Photoshopped image used to instigate violence in B'desh
Publication Date : 04-03-2013
Absurd it may look, but a picture of convicted Bangladeshi war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee superimposed on the face of moon posted in the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir's Facebook page “Basherkella” was actually sold to a large number of people as an omen.
And that omen, to these people, is a call to fight the government and free Sayedee, a top Jamaat leader, at any cost.
This "divine" Facebook picture, posted on Saturday evening by one “Carbon Tasnim” of Faridpur, was circulated by Jamaat-Shibir activists through cell phones and computers.
The caption reads: "From late Friday night to early Saturday, people from Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia saw Sayedee's face (in the moon). Such an image is God's sign that true devotees are honoured in different ways."
To draw attention of the people who did not have access to the Internet, announcements were made through loudspeakers of mosques about the picture, report The Daily Star's correspondents from Chittagong, Rajshahi and Bogra.
Apart from that, many people called The Daily Star staff members from different districts to verify if such a moon was really sighted.
The picture drew condemnation from Islami scholars and ridicule from regular Facebook users.
Several Islami scholars termed the use of this fake picture "a Jamaat-Shibir ploy" to cheat ordinary believers and exploit religious sentiments.
According to scholars, such an act is a "great sin".
The picture also prompted online bloggers and activists to make equally absurd jokes using Sayedee's pictures.
In one, for instance, Sayedee was shown as one of the three astronomers to have landed on the moon in 1969. In this picture, Neil Armstrong's face has been replaced by Sayedee's face.