Israel, the Mossad and Jews, seen as one, are now a political issue in Bangladesh politics. Accusations and denials about "Israel and Mossad connections" are going on among the rival political parties and leaders. Both the government and largest opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have been trying to cash in on the existing antagonistic sentiment against Israel among the country's 90%-Muslim population.
Bangladesh has no diplomatic relations with Israel. It is a country where Jews and Israeli people are being cursed in every Friday sermon, from more than 250,000 mosques. Imams across the country shout before the Friday prayer's sermon audience that Jewish people are infidels.
The latest dirty game of Israel-hating began in early May. A Bangladeshi politician, Aslam Chowdhury, who is a Joint General Secretary of the BNP, visited the Indian capital of Delhi and the historic city of Agra, where he met Mendi N. Safadi, reportedly a member of Israel's Likud party. Everyone shook hands and greeted each other courteously, but Aslam Chowdhury came under fire in Bangladesh after the photographs of the two men together were published on Safadi's Facebook page, and then picked up by Bangladeshi media.
On May 15, police detectives arrested Chowdhury for alleged "involvement in a plot to oust the Bangladesh government with the support of Israeli intelligence Mossad." Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikha Hasina, accused two political parties, BNP and Jamaat-e Islami Bangladesh of being "so desperate that they are now conspiring with Israel to oust me... They have joined hands with those who are frequently killing children and women in Palestine."
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party heavily depends on religious Muslim supporters, and Jamaat-e Islami Bangladesh is an Islamist political party that believes in Islamic revolution.
This photo of Bangladeshi politician Aslam Chowdhury (center) with Israeli Mendi Safadi (left) led to Chowdhury's arrest for alleged "involvement in a plot to oust the Bangladesh government with the support of Israeli intelligence Mossad." (Image source: Mendi N. Safadi)
Chowdhury's party, the BNP, expressed embarrassment. One of the party's standing committee members said,
"This is a very serious issue that a BNP leader has held a meeting with an Israeli leader. It goes against our national values as well as our party policy, as Bangladesh does not have any relation with Israel. This type of meeting will send a wrong signal to our friendly Muslim countries and it may also damage BNP's image at home and abroad."
Chowdhury did not deny his meeting with Safadi, but claimed that the meeting was accidental. On May 26, nine days after his arrest, police filed charges of sedition against Aslam Chowdhury. The Inspector General of Bangladesh Police said, "Initial investigations found evidence of conspiracy with the leaders of Israel's Likud party to destabilize the country in an effort to damage the government's image."
Safadi, for his part, said in an interview with BBC Bangla, "It is illogical that some people who hatch a conspiracy against a government at a public program then post their photographs on Facebook."
The Bangladeshi media labelled Safadi a "Mossad agent," and a senior Israeli official. But he is neither. He is a former aide to Ayoub Kara, a Druze MP from the Likud party who serves as a deputy cabinet minister.
Aslam Chowdhury is not the first victim of Israel-hating in Bangladesh, a Sunni Muslim-dominated country. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a Bangladeshi journalist, was sentenced in 2014 to seven years in prison, allegedly for trying to travel to Israel, to speak on the rise of Islamic militancy in his country, and how madrassahs (Islamic religious schools) are being used to spawn militants.
Sebastian Bustle is based in Southeast Asia.
 Chowdhury was invited by the Bharatia (Indian) Citizens Security Councils, a platform run by the youth wing of India's ruling Bharatia Janata Party (BJP), as was Mendi N. Safadi, the head of Safadi Center of International Diplomacy and Public Relations.