Bangladesh‬, having Islam‬ as the state religion‬, badly needs a supreme leader or council to stop the extremists from giving different versions of the religion and issuing fatwas!

These morons are becoming more powerful day by day and spreading misleading impression about Islam.

Their acts are creating panic among the non-Muslims of this Muslim-majority country and also some liberal Muslims.

The state religion provision was incorporated in the constitution of Bangladesh through the Eighth Amendment passed on June 7, 1988 under the military rule of dictator HM Ershad, now a special envoy to the prime minister.

The move was made to assist the Islamist parties including Jamaat-e-Islami and influential clerics and pirs grow bigger.

Ershad is also the chairman of Jatiya Party, which acts as a government ally as well as opposition in parliament.

It should be noted that those talking about establishing Islam in Bangladesh came mainly from Jamaat before and after the Liberation War. The party was banned after the independence as religion-based politics had been prohibited by law and over 11,000 war-time collaborators – mostly from Jamaat – were facing trial when Sheikh Mujib was alive.

But after the assassination of the Father of the Nation, another military ruler General Ziaur Rahman freed them while passing indemnity law barring trial of Mujib killers – also to help the Islamists since he resumed politics of religion-based parties.

A case challenging the legality of declaring Islam as the state religion is yet to be resolved in the apex court.

The High Court on October 4, 2010 ruled that Bangladesh is now a secular state in line with the original constitution of 1972 which it said had been restored automatically following the Supreme Court judgment on the Fifth Amendment.

The court said: “…no one can be forced to wear any religious attires in the secular state. Everyone has the right to guided by one’s own religion. For the same reason, no one can also be barred from wearing religious attires. Everyone has the right to wear the attire of one’s choice maintaining decency.”

Former law minister Shafique Ahmed on April 4, 2009 said Ershad introduced state religion in violation of the nation’s core principles. “The amendment to make Islam the state religion was contrary to the fundamentals, such as secularism, of the country’s 1972 constitution.”

The result is obvious: rise of extremists, militants and wrong-headed Muslims in this so-called secular country!