[Dhaka Correspondent] One of the most controversial Islamist figureheads in Bangladesh, khatib of Baitul Mukarram national mosque, Maulana Ubaidul Huq, enjoyed a gorgeous after-death farewell attended by the heads of the state and government and chief of the interim government’s power source, the army, Sunday. Ubaidul Huq died from old-age complications in Dhaka late Saturday night. He was 79.
The chief cleric of the national mosque was born in Zakiganj of Sylhet in 1928. He taught at Dhaka Alia Mardrassah and after retirement form there, he was appointed as the khatib [who gives Friday sermons] of the national mosque in 1984.
President Iajuddin Ahmed, the chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, members of the council of advisers, the chief of army staff General Moeen U Ahmed and other senior officers attended the funeral at the National Eidgah in the afternoon.
He was buried at Azimpur graveyard in as hundreds of followers and the city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka attended.
Ubaidul Huq attended a function at the Iranian Cultural Centre in Dhaka Saturday night and there he fell sick and immediately taken to Medinova Hospital. After shifting several hospitals in the city he breathed his last at Labaid hospital.
Ubaidul Huq several times sparked off controversies patronizing ultra-Islamist outfits and thrashing progressive forces. He was one of pioneers of the movement for declaring Ahmadiyas communities as non-Muslim.
He led the latest Islamist flare-up centering a satirical cartoon in Prothom Alo. Amid severe pressure, editor of the daily, Matiur Rahman, met the Khatib and begged for unconditional apology for publishing the cartoon. He was forgiven by the khatib.