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Is “Passport to eternity” banned in Bangladesh?

Written By: Carriganore
19/03/2013 22:42 19/03/2013 17:30
Human rights

When I was young, I used to attend in different Islamic gatherings (Mahfil). In every rural area to small towns in Bangladesh, it’s a common phenomenon that one day a very high profile Islamic cleric will visit and preach Islam. Thousands of followers, mostly from working class people attended in the gatherings. From these clerics, some were Sufi saints and they were very special to the people because they came up with the Islamic message that is somehow mystical and put more emphasis on miraculous nature of the World events. The followers of any Pir (the cleric who is from Sufi sect) would believe that the Pir has some extraordinary power in this World and also will be in hereafter. They can give you the guarantee to eternity. A passport to eternity. The people who are desperately seeking paradise went in these Islamic gatherings. In my understanding, there are millions of people in Bangladesh who are seeking passport to eternity. Thousands of books available in the book shops of Bangladesh where there are Islamic books stating that embrace Islam in your way of life and you will get passport to eternity. It’s a very common message in Bangladeshi society.

But unfortunately, it seems to me the present Sheikh Hasina Government is going to ban this passport to eternity. On 19th March 2013, the leading English newspaper “The Daily Star” reported “16 Chhatri Sangstha activists detained in Narayanganj”. Chhatri Sangstha is the main female Islamist student party in Bangladesh. They have thousands of young female student members mostly coming from rural area and small towns. Besides of this fact, they mostly keep their presence in the religious institutions (Madrasha), which is primarily backed by religiously conservative families.

The newspaper reported that police detained them because “they were holding a meeting in the afternoon”! “Police recovered a huge number of Islamic books and party registration forms from their possession”. “Some books having covers like real passports with a caption ‘passport to eternity’”.  Also mentioned, “most of the students were from a local madrasha”.

Now, I am wondering:

1. What is wrong in holding a meeting in the afternoon? Why police recovered huge number of Islamic books? Is it unlawful or unethical in a 90% Muslim majority country to arrange a meeting where there will be Islamic books?

2. Is it forbidden to attend in a meeting with party registration forms? I don’t know any democratic country all over the World where it is forbidden to attend in a meeting with party registration forms.

3. In which ground, books containing a “passport to eternity” caption will be supposed as banned? If it is true, there may be more than millions of books in all religious institutions in Bangladesh will automatically be considered as banned books. Government will have to close all the mosques in Bangladesh because in every Friday sermon, the cleric preaches Islam as a “passport to eternity”.  All of the religious activities in Bangladesh can be banned because most of the Muslims in Bangladesh seek a passport to eternity through their personal religious activities to reach towards God and be rewarded with paradise in hereafter. 

4. Why it will be the case that female students coming from Madrasha will be detained? After all, religious institutions are everywhere in the country and millions of students are studying in these institutions.

I don’t know whether this Sheikh Hasina Government will release these young student female activists or not because few months ago, some renowned women from the country including members of parliament expressed their dissatisfaction on detaining some young female activists of the same organisation. Unfortunately, after this expression, the police arrested some more activists from the organization’s central party office. Today, some more are going in jail.

In my sense, there is a Government in Bangladesh now who never hears from anybody within the democratic political spectrum and doing whatever he or she wants and detains anybody without any rational reason.

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Bangladesh Police Sheikh Hasina Islami Chhatri Sangstha Bangladesh Government Human Rights 


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