Muslim-majority Bangladesh to drop Islam as the country’s state religion ‘when the time comes’, a report on Monday quoted a senior ruling Awami Leage leader as saying. “Islam has been kept as the state religion for strategic reasons,” the party’s Presidium Member and former minister Abdur Razzaq told the media on Sunday. “I have said it abroad and now I am saying it again that Islam will be dropped (as state religion) from Bangladesh’s Constitution when the time comes,” the former food minister added. The ruling party leader made the statement at the round-table organised by SAARC Cultural Society at the national Press Club.
The discussion titled ‘Strong Unity of Masses of Bangladesh and India to Prevent Terrorism’ has been held with the recent attacks on Hindus in Brahmanbarhia in the backdrop. Congress leader Preetam Ghosh, social worker Ajoy Kumar Dutta and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shiladitya Dev were the participants at the round-able from India. “The force of secularism is in the people of Bangladesh. There is nothing called ‘minority’ in our country”, said Razzaq.
After the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, Bangladesh’s course of direction was reversed, and Zia-ur- Rahman, had captured power, and he replaced ‘secularism’ with ‘Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah’. Later, HM Ershad another military dictator included Islam as the state religion in the Constitution. But after Ershad’s ouster, ‘drop Islam’ call as state religion from the Constitution-demand was raised several times.
“As a Muslim majority country it is the moral responsibility of the Bangladeshi citizens to take care of minorities”, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday. “Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony which should be maintained at any cost for development and brighten the country’s image,” Hasina said at a video conference. “As a Muslim majority country it is the moral responsibility of all of us to take care of the minorities,” she added. The Prime Minister added, “You have to remain careful so that no such incidents, which are taking place sporadically in different parts of the country, take place anywhere in the country.”