Fear of Muslim violence keeps Islam as national religion

By Bob Unruh

Quran34

The New York Times reported it took just two minutes for the highest court in Bangladesh recently to throw out a case challenging Islam as the state religion, even though its constitution is based on secularism.

Now the international ministry Barnabas Aid is explaining why the case, which had been in the courts for nearly three decades, was put to sudden death.

“As in many Muslim majority countries, anything perceived to be acting against Islam is likely to provoke riots in the streets as well as threats to the judges. Indeed, the mere prospect of the court deciding whether it could hear this petition has led to recent violent demonstrations by Bangladeshi Islamists,” the organization explained.

“The court has now decided on a technicality that it cannot hear the petition because it has been filed not by individuals but by a committee that has no legal standing. In effect, this means that the Islamization which began with a constitutional change brought in by a military dictator has been allowed to stand.”

In “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” renowned activist Pamela Geller provides the answer, offering proven, practical guidance on how freedom lovers can stop jihadist initiatives in local communities.

The Times reported that the fight over state recognition of Islam already had prompted a strike by the nation’s largest Islamic political party, and various Sunni Muslim groups had staged protests, arguing that the issue should not even be discussed.

“They need not have worried,” the report said. “A swarm of lawyers had barely taken their seats when Justice Naima Haider ruled that the group of 15 petitioners, 10 of whom had died as the case navigated the court bureaucracy, had no standing to raise the issue with the court.”

Barnabas Aid noted that when Bangladesh obtained its independence from Pakistan in 1971, its national constitution declared secularism to be one of its “principles.”

“However, during the period of military rule (1975-90) the government tried to promote Islam in order to bolster its own flagging support. In 1988 the country’s military dictator Gen. Ershad declared Islam to be the state religion,” the report said.

“At the time a group of 15 Bangladeshi intellectuals set up a ‘Committee against Autocracy and Communalism’ which filed a court petition to have this move declared unconstitutional,” the report said.

But for 28 years, the government refused to act on the petition “as it as seen as being such a divisive issue.”

The Times reported the attacks on religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country have become more common in recent days.

Barnabas Aid, in fact, reported 68-year-old Hossain Ali, a convert to Christianity, was killed only a couple of days before the court ruling.

The report said three men on motorcycles attacked him with knives early in the morning while he was walking in Valacopa in the Kurrigram District of northern Bangladesh.

“He died on the spot,” said district police chief Tobarak Ullah in the Barnabas Aid report. Passers-by saw the incident and tried to catch the attackers, but they set off two hand bombs to frighten people away and then fled the scene on motorcycles.

In addition to converting, Ali had set up a house church, and “local Islamists were angered by this and several times they had threatened him and [pressured] him to return to Islam,” the report said.

The Wall Street Journal noted the petition “had the potential to become a political flash point at a time when Bangladesh is facing a surge of extremist violence linked to militant groups such as Islamic State.”

The constitution declares the state will ensure “equal status” for Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims. The nation is about 90 percent Muslim and 2 percent Christian.

Groups like ISIS are “exploiting a political vacuum created by the bitter rivalry between the ruling Awami League and the main opposition Bangladesh National Party,” the journal reported.

In “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” renowned activist Pamela Geller provides the answer, offering proven, practical guidance on how freedom lovers can stop jihadist initiatives in local communities.

 

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