Establishing Secularism and religious political parties in Bangladesh

secularism Bangladesh

Tomorrow (this Monday), there is a day long strike all over Bangladesh by Jamat-E-Islam. This political party is fully based on religious goals and objectives. There are other religious political parties in Bangladesh. But Jamat-E-Islami is the leading radicalized political parties, specially its student wing. They are trying to resume their killing missions by calling for this strike. There is another intention which they have not made public, ie, Nizami, their former leader is going to be hanged to death very soon. Therefore, tomorrow’s strike is kind of their dress rehearsal for the main event. They are against establishing secularism in Bangladesh, where many writers, bloggers, free thinkers have sacrificed their lives for raising their voice establishing secularism in Bangladesh.

For few weeks, it was quietly discussed to remove the state religion from the constitution of Bangladesh. Those who don’t know, officially Bangladesh is publicized as a secular country; but Islam is mentioned as the state religion. Many of us with other free minded secular writers, we had been raising our voice for the real secularism to be established in the country. But behind the curtain, government does not want to implement real secularism in the country. Because, 90% of the population in the country in Muslims and none of the political parties wants to hurt the sentiment of the Muslims. Otherwise they fear to loose those votes. Besides, political parties like, Jamat-E-Islam, Hefajat-e-Islam with other banned radicalized Islamic organizations will take the opportunity to terrorize the country. Already minority groups, human rights activists, bloggers are murdered in the name of religious views. In this situation, I fear government will manipulate the justice system to keep the state religion in the constitution.

This issue is not getting headlines in media. May be government does not want to give it a high coverage. Whatever may be the reason, government’s intention on this issue is very suspicious. They are trying to play hide and seek on this matter. Already Jamat-E-Islami has taken hard line on this matter. Matter of fact, I don’t find significant pressure from the civic society yet. I don’t think we got much time to react on this.

This country was liberated with a vision of secularism. But after the liberation, real implementation of secularism was not established. Leaders have forgotten their promise and expectation of the general public. Establishing Islam as the country’s religion in constitution undermines other religions and other faiths. It gives priority to Islam which is totally unexpected. Muslims are getting priority all over the places and other faiths are remaining unattended.

Government will definitely face pressure from the OIC, International organisation for the Muslim countries. I don’t think this Sheikh Hasina government has that strong backbone to take take bold decision going against the rich Muslim countries. If King of Saudi Arab calls PM about this matter, she will start crying. Only public of this country need to stand hard on this issue, otherwise there will be no change in the constitution about the state religion.

It is obvious that we have at least a chance to raise our voice to remove Islam as the state religion from the constitution. We must take this opportunity and remove it forever. Otherwise, our country is going to a dark era. Al-Qaeda has bombed at a park at Lahor in Pakistan today and killed about more than 60 persons. We don’t want our country to become another Pakistan or Afghanistan. Silent killers had been killing secular minded people, but now they are trying to come to the road to publicly protest against secularism. We must take our position stronger to protect the country.

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