By: Ferdous Ahmad Bhuiya
DHAKA – Trials of Islamist leaders on alleged charges of war crimes and constitutional amendments that eliminated the state principles of absolute trust and faith in Allah are sparking accusations against the Bangladeshi government of “de-Islamizing” the country and turning it into a secular state.
“The present secular government has been attacking Islam to satisfy leftist and secular groups,” AHM Abdul Kader, coordinator of Dhaka-based Center for Study of Peace and Security (CSPS), told OnIslam.net.
“Government has turned itself into a police state and is harassing the opposition and particularly the Islamic forces and parties in order to create a safe haven for the growth of atheist and secularist forces.”
Bangladesh has been in turmoil over the trial of Islamist leaders on alleged war crimes during the 1971 independence war.
Tension further escalated over postings by bloggers seen as defaming Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
The turbulence also followed constitutional amendments that eliminated the state principles of absolute trust and faith in Allah the Almighty.
Abdul Kader opines that the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is trying to eliminate Islamic forces and leaders by trying them on alleged war crimes during the independence war.
Professor Mujahidul Islam, a senior teacher at Dhaka University, shares a similar opinion.
“The government has dealt a serious blow to the majority of Muslims by eliminating the state principles of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty from the constitution,” he said.
He believes that the incumbent government has given itself up to a secularist group deeply engaged in conspiring against Islam and Muslims in Bangladesh.
He thinks that an atheist and leftist quarter within the government has now the upper hand to “de-Islamize” the country through infusion of fragmentation and conflicts.
Mujahidul Islam, a former chairman of the finance department of Dhaka University, describes government attempt to ban Islamic politics in Bangladesh as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
He says this type of thinking and decision will generate bad effects and cause disunity, hostility and disorder in the country.
Many Bangladeshis believe that the government of Sheikh Hasina is actively working to “de-Islamize” the Asian Muslim country.
“The very act of eliminating the constitutional provision of absolute trust and faith of Allah is a big conspiracy against Bangladesh and Muslims,” Rawshan Ara Swapna, a writer and former student of political science at Dhaka University, told OnIslam.net.
“Their target is to turn Bangladesh into a secularist country.”
She agrees that the aim of the war crimes trials is to abolish Islam and the Islamic movement from Bangladesh in order to satisfy secular and communist forces.
“But they wouldn’t see success in this country as the third largest Muslim country,” she stressed.
Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan, general secretary of Bangladesh NAP, an opposition party, agrees.
“The present Awami League government has created conflict and clash in Bangladesh by eliminating the state principles of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah as enshrined in the Bangladeshi constitution,” he told OnIslam.net.
He believes that attempts to reinstitute secularism in the constitution would be a big mistake by the government.
“The present government is itself a party to a conspiracy to make Bangladesh a non-religious country.”
Mohammad Mustafijur Rahman, a businessman, shares a similar opinion.
“Elimination of the trust and faith of Allah from the Bangladeshi constitution by the Awami League government would not be acceptable to Muslims and it was a cruel onslaught on Islamic values,” he told OnIslam.net.
He believes that the government move to replace iman (faith) with secularism in the constitution would be rejected by Muslims of Bangladesh.
“Bangladeshi Muslims will resist all moves toward de-Islamization of Bangladesh by present secular government’s conspiracy insallah.”
Bangladesh is the world’s third-largest Muslim majority nation with a population of some 148 million.