Blogs versus bombs in Shahbag-Jamat cyber war

Caesar Mandal, | 2013-03-14
CHITTAGONG: The Shahbag movement has drawn a clear divide between the progressive population and the fundamentalists in Bangladesh, and the clash of opposing ideals has permeated all classes and sections of the society - even cyber space.

A full-fledged cyber war is on between Gana Jagaran Mancha activists and the foot soldiers of Jamat-e-Islami. So intense is the conflict that a worried government has set up a nine-member committee under the home ministry to monitor blogs and posts to prevent any provocative or seditious content.

Bloggers have been at the vanguard of the Shahbag campaign, demanding the execution of war criminals for the '71 genocide. Jamat and its alliance parties have now started an online campaign against Mancha. Several blogs have been posted in the past few days defending Jamat and the war criminals and accusing the progressive activists of being 'enemies of Islam'.

Jamat activists have allegedly hacked Shahbag blogs and sites. "They often hack our sites and distort the contents," said Sanatan, an online activist. "Hefajat-e-Islam, the religious outfit that opposed our meeting in Chittagong today, has accused us of blasphemy. We checked our blogs and found that someone had hacked them and planted distorted content," said Shah Asif, a Shahbag campaigner. Several activists admitted that they are fighting back with the same strategy - hacking Jamat blogs.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi, an eminent journalist and chief of a prominent online newspaper in Bangladesh, is not ready to term the Shahbag cyber-activism a virtual movement. Online media is now a part of mainstream media in Bangladesh, he pointed out. He cited the example of Malaysia where four bloggers have won the parliamentary election. "In Bangladesh, nearly 32 million people have internet access. Of them, only 1.3 million have traditional internet connections and the huge netizen population accesses internet from their cellphones," said Khalidi.

Filmmaker Imran Firdaus, a Shahbag activist, admitted that the online campaign may make the difference. And Jamat will not give up, since they have strong financial backing and a regimented cadre. Jamat's well-knit organization and money power is one of the most toughest challenges for the Shahbag movement.



Popular posts from this blog

How a cyber attack hampered Hong Kong protesters

‘Not Hospital, Al-Shifa is Hamas Hideout & HQ in Gaza’: Israel Releases ‘Terrorists’ Confessions’ | Exclusive

Former FARC guerrilla, Colombian cop pose naked together to promote peace deal