ICC Note: On Monday, Bangladesh’s High Court rejected a petition calling for the removal of Islam as the country’s official religion. The petition was originally filed because of concerns that having Islam as the country’s official religion would lead to discrimination against Bangladesh’s religious minority communities, including Christians.
The court rejected the petition claiming that those bringing it forward did not have standing and didn’t even hear the case on its merits. Bangladesh has seen a wave of extremist activity in recent months, including a murder of a Christian convert claimed by ISIS.
Bangladesh (Aljazeera) Bangladesh’s High Court on Monday rejected a 28-year-old petition calling for the removal of a constitutional provision recognizing Islam as the official religion of the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.
The court ruled that the petitioning organisation, the Committee against Autocracy and Communalism, did not have the right to be heard in the court.
Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque, one of the three judges sitting on the bench, said that the court found that “the petitioner does not have locus standi and that is why the petition will be summarily rejected”.
The organisation’s lawyer, Subrata Chowdhury, said that he was “100 percent disappointed” with the decision.”Without a hearing and without giving us any chance to present our argument on the point of locus standi, the court dismissed the case,” he told Al Jazeera.
Others, however, were pleased with the decision. Lawyer Maulana MA Raquib, the president of the religious party Nezam-e-Islam who was present in court, said: “This is the decision of the highest court in the land. Islam should be the state religion. The majority of people in this country believe in Islam.”
He argued that having Islam as the state religion would not affect minority religions. “Minorities will not be discriminated against as there is a guarantee in the constitution for the minorities,” he said.
Pray that the entrance of the Gospel will bring great harvest on that land!