Sunday, October 22, 2017

Benefit of concessions to Islamic leaders is anti-militancy stance: Obaidul Quader

  • Staff Correspondent
    Published: 2017-04-15 18:23:41 BdST


The Awami League has described the anti-militancy stance taken by Islamic hardliners as a ‘benefit’ resulting from a plan to remove the statue of Lady Justice from the Supreme Court premises and the recognition of Qawmi madrassas.

Shah Ahmed Shafi, chief of Hifazat-e Islam, issued a warning against militancy from a rally on Friday. That came after the recognition of Qawmi madrassas, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said on Saturday.

“Isn’t it a positive thing to have him come out against militancy?”

At a meeting with a delegation of Islamic scholars led by Shafi on Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also promised to speak to the chief justice on the removal of the Lady Justice statue.

Many have criticised the decision as an attempt by the Awami League to compromise with radicals. Critics have also said the decision will encourage militant views.

Quader refuses to see the situation as a compromise.

“Many link the recognition of Qawmi madrassas to the acceptance of Hifazat. Our desire is to bring Qawmi madrassa students into the same framework as our national education system,” Quader said.

Almost 1.4 million Qawmi madrassa students participate in higher education, only to face an uncertain future. This is why we have accepted them. Qawmi madrassas will be modernised and brought in line with our rules.”

Many members of the AL alliance have seen the move as a deviation from the Awami League’s ideology.

“To me, it is a progressive move,” said Quader. “No-one can be progressive without being realistic.”

Quader on Saturday sat with Christian leaders on their demand for making Easter Sunday a public holiday and promised to discuss the proposal with the prime minister.