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Bangladesh Govt does its homework – Constitution leaves no room to declare Ahmadis non-Muslims

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Bangladesh Parliament Building

Courtesy: The Daily Star

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Law ministry finds 6 against constitution, 7 covered by existing laws

By Reaz Ahmad and Shakhawat Liton

 Out of the 13, the law ministry has identified six demands of the Islamist group Hefajat-e Islam that go against the constitution while the remaining seven are well covered by existing laws.
Hefajat-e Islam’s demand for restoration of the phrase “Absolute trust and faith in Almighty Allah” in the constitution as one of the fundamental principles of state policy goes against the basic spirit of the constitution, the law ministry said.
“Therefore, there is no constitutional obligation to meet the demand,” the law ministry said in its opinion prepared after reviewing the 13-point demands of Hefajat.
The law ministry made the review upon receipt of a letter from the foreign ministry on April 7, a day after the Hefajat long march to the capital.
Similarly, the Hefajat’s demand for enactment of a law imposing a ban on “free-mingling of men and women” is also against the constitution, noted the law ministry review report.
The Daily Star obtained a copy of the report yesterday.
“Freedom of individual and speech, and free-mingling of men and women are recognised in the constitution as fundamental rights,” the ministry said, adding that enactment of any law curtailing fundamental rights would be against Articles-7 and -26 of the constitution and would become void.
If such laws were enacted, hundreds of thousands of female workers would be unemployed, severely hampering national development, it said. Co-education in schools, colleges and universities would have to be dissolved, which would hamper women empowerment and would be against the spirit of the constitution, the ministry said.
It said there was no reason or scope to scrap the women development policy and education policy as the policies were formulated as per  constitutional provisions and the mandate of the United Nations.
The women policy is not against Islam and the issue of religious education was included in the education policy, the ministry argued.
Referring to Articles-28, -41 and -44 of the constitution, the ministry said the constitution leaves no room to meet Hafajat’s demand for declaring “Qadiani” people non-Muslims.
On the Hefajat demand for stopping “anti-Islam activities of NGOs”, and conversions by Christian missionaries in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and elsewhere in the country, the law ministry referred to Article-41 of the constitution that gives freedom of preaching and practicing any religion.

Read more in the Daily Star 

The Muslim Times’ Editor’s comment

Something Pakistan can learn from Bangladesh!

Sailboats, Turag River, Bangladesh, Courtesy National Geographic

Posted by on April 10, 2013. Filed under Bangladesh,Political,Separation of Church and State,Social Justice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

16 Responses to Bangladesh Govt does its homework – Constitution leaves no room to declare Ahmadis non-Muslims

  1. Jainal Abedin

    April 10, 2013 at 11:54 am

    A commendable, meticulous response from the current BD govt. These constitutional items have always existed in BD constitution, however always neglected during the reign of any govt where the coalition is formed with JI and its umbrella parties. The Islamists and parties lead by former military affiliates have historically marginalized secularism to gain power at the cost of civil liberty.

  2. Mike Hansen

    April 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I appreciate the courage of the Govt. of Bangladesh, where Pakistani Govt. has failed in 1974. Thank you.

  3. Rassel

    April 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    wow!!!! we live in 20 Century still we think like 5 century’s berbarian. Bangladesh should’t copy pakistan.Since Pakistan Govt took the decesion how is muslim and how is not,if some one called himself muslim,say Assalmu alikum and say kalima govt put them in jail.same thing so called mullah’s want in bangladesh.Look at the conditon of pakistan.Do we want same thing for Bangladesh?
    I hope not coz bangladesh independ after lots of bloodshed.Think for a second is it true ISLAM. Islam means peace what peace we are trying to creat.

  4. MNA KHAN

    April 11, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Respect for Human Rights and respect for the Law of the Land by Bangladesh Govt. is respectable and commendable.It is a lesson for Pakistan Government who violated not only UNO charter for Basic Human rights but also violated Article-20 of Pakistan Basic law by imposing Anti Ahmedia Laws.
    Politicizing of Religion is enough to ruin or destroy any country it an open reality and lesson for all countries and can be observed from better example of Pakistan.

  5. Ataul Wahid LaHaye

    April 11, 2013 at 4:10 am

    I had the privilage of visiting Bangladesh for two weeks in February and found them to be the kindest people I have ever met. I pray they resist the fanatics and hold their course as they have followed the Prophet and set an example of religous freedom and tolerance that will make them leaders among the nations of Islam. Long live Bangladesh.

  6. Ghulam Sarwar

    April 11, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Religion has nothing to do with any government, nothing to give or gain from any government. Many prophets of Allah suffered at the hands of kings. The Mullas in pakistan and Bangladesh want to do the same that was done by king Nimrod of Iraq and King Pharoah of Egypt. i.e. religion enforced (applied) by government machinary?

    There are many examples of the kings misusing the religion for their politics.
    The prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. never needed any help from any government to establish his teachings. Well done Bangladesh for good decision.

  7. Qudsia

    April 11, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Good for Bangladesh! It seems it has learned from Pakistan’s sad plight.

  8. Najma A.

    April 11, 2013 at 5:21 am

    This step taken by the BD govt. will go a long way in creating harmony & peace. It is good that they learnt a lesson from Pakistan’s chaos. I hope Indonesia also follows in their footsteps.

  9. Amtul Q Farhat

    April 11, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Time for Pakistan and Indonesia to follow the steps

  10. Salamat Ali,

    April 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

    The timely decisions of the Bangladesh Supreme Court and the bold, brave policies of the present Dhaka government are worthy to be adopted by the other states, especially the Muslim countries. I extend my heart-felt congratulation to the people and their democratic setup in the Bangladesh and hope the relevant constitutional provisions will be kept intact and fully enforced to make B-Desh as the best most popular state of 200 million people which after two decades,they will become at least 350 Mn. And this system of numerical strength will meet its ultimate ‘success’,a grand success of all for all the times to come. Pakistan can learn a lot from the successful ‘working patron of B-Desh democratic set-up.

  11. Syed Zafar Ahmad

    April 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    The present Government of Bangladesh deserves full marks for its principled stand, and unlike that in Pakistan, not buckled under the pressure of the extremists. In the backdrop of the present scale of violence in Pakistan on religious issues, the stand of Bangladesh is both prudent and far-reaching. Pakistan can well take a leave from Bangladesh’s example and crack-down on those creating disorders and inciting violence in the name of Islam.

  12. Raziya Mohamedali

    April 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Bravo, Bangladesh for having the courage and integrity to stand up to these extremist views of religious fanatics.

    Yes, and both Pakistan and Indonesia could learn something from them.

  13. S. A Sheikh,

    April 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    As long as Bangla Desh was part of Quaid-e-Azam’s united Pakistan from 1947 to 1971, the people and the rulers did not submit themselves to the dictates of Mullah mostly due to the political maturity of the Bangladeshi people and the strong character of its leaders. But when Mr. Bhutto managed to get power in West Pakistan province of the left over Pakistan and he framed the new Constitution of 1973. Then, very soon, he thought it fit to introduce the 2nd Amendment in the constitution to concede to the demands of small minde bigoted Mullah, through which Mr. Bhutto declared the Ahmadiyya Muslim community as non-Muslim, infidel/kafir. Only God knows what prompted PM Bhutto to do this act of insanity against the principled stand taken by the founder of Pakistan, Mr Jinnah, who had openly declared that the state will have nothing to do with one’s religion or faith as it is a private matter between God and an individual. Alas! since then every thing in Pakistan has been going down and down,
    making up-side-down of every thing. It has made every one’s life most miserable.Peaceful social life and sleep in the night (with 16 to 20 hours load shedding) is almost impossible for the common man in the street. On the other Bangla Desh, since its creation, is progressively developing with flying colors with strong economy and organizing international tournaments and world class functions about which the Pakistanis can not even think of. What a downfall?

  14. Dr. AMIR MAHMOOD KAHLOON

    April 15, 2013 at 2:38 am

    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, it spans over 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its current headquarters are in the United Kingdom.

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad(as) claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus(as) of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad(sa). Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad(as), like Jesus(as), to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s(as) advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival. He divested Islam of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings. He also recognized the noble teachings of the great religious founders and saints, including Zoroaster(as), Abraham(as), Moses(as), Jesus(as), Krishna(as), Buddha(as), Confucius(as), Lao Tzu and Guru Nanak, and explained how such teachings converged into the one true Islam.

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam. In its place, he taught his followers to wage a bloodless, intellectual “jihad of the pen” to defend Islam. To this end, Ahmad(as) penned over 80 books and tens of thousands of letters, delivered hundreds of lectures, and engaged in scores of public debates. His rigorous and rational defenses of Islam unsettled conventional Muslim thinking. As part of its effort to revive Islam, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to spread Ahmad’s(as) teachings of moderation and restraint in the face of bitter opposition from parts of the Muslim world.

    Similarly, it is the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) taught his followers to protect the sanctity of both religion and government by becoming righteous souls as well as loyal citizens. He cautioned against irrational interpretations of Quranic pronouncements and misapplications of Islamic law. He continually voiced his concerns over protecting the rights of God’s creatures. Today, it continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protections for religious and other minorities. It champions the empowerment and education of women. Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the foremost Islamic organization with a central spiritual leader. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) reminded his followers of God’s promise to safeguard the message of Islam through khilafat (the spiritual institution of successorship to prophethood). It believes that only spiritual successorship can uphold the true values of Islam and unite humanity. Five spiritual leaders have succeeded Ahmad(as) since his demise in 1908. It’s fifth and current spiritual head, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, resides in the United Kingdom. Under the leadership of its spiritual successors, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has now built over 15,000 mosques, over 500 schools, and over 30 hospitals. It has translated the Holy Quran into over 70 languages. It propagates the true teachings of Islam and the message of peace and tolerance through a twenty-four hour satellite television channel (MTA), the Internet (alislam.org) and print (Islam International Publications). It has been at the forefront of worldwide disaster relief through an independent charitable organization, Humanity First.

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