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  #1  
Old January 28, 2013, 04:01 PM
HereWeGo HereWeGo is offline
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Default Should Religious groups be allowed to participate in Politics/Election?

What do you guys think. Personally I am totally against it but I will be the first one to admit the fact that I am biased against Jamat.

FBCCI president called Jamat a terrorist organisation, and to a certain degree I agree given the fact that Bangla Bhai and some other radical groups in the past had association with this party and it is well documented.

Is there a room for a religious groups in politics??

http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2013/...st-group-fbcci
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  #2  
Old January 28, 2013, 04:18 PM
zsayeed zsayeed is offline
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Yes - one may not not like it - but they have a right to be heard - as long as it is not riot-mongering speech. The usual 1st amendment rights apply.

But then if an ultra-religious/political faction comes into power - they should be allowed to take charge of government - instead of playing games as was in Palestine. I do not condone Hamas - but they won freely. Same thing happening with Brotherhood in Egypt - but the west must take it - it is in line with their notion of democracy.

Democracy has a price. Can't pick and choose the vox populii.
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  #3  
Old January 28, 2013, 04:32 PM
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By the way Bishwajit got brutally chopped and murdered medieval style, in broad daylight, with the picture and full bio of the culprits in mass media next day and still BAL couldn't do anything, that tells the story of political groups in Bangladesh. If after this BAL can remain in power, then any one has the right to be a political group, be it golap ful marka peace loving zaker party or violent war criminals jamat party.
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  #4  
Old January 28, 2013, 04:49 PM
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Why not...let people decide what and whom they want. Wo are you or me or the govt to decide ??
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  #5  
Old January 28, 2013, 05:43 PM
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Police, RAB & other gun runner authorities are quite strong in Bangladesh holding lot of power since 9-11. Once its tagged as terrorist organisation, it dosnt take much time abolish such groups, that we allready witnesed (i.e. JMB, Harkatul Jihaad etc).

If sheltering & aiding war criminals aint enough for common BD ppl to discourage support over Jamat & forgetful for crimes that occur 40 years ago, better Govt dont go for such approach and let islamic religious groups be in politics. I dont think hartal, picketing, police killing etc are treated as terrorism in BD yet.
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  #6  
Old January 28, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsayeed
Yes - one may not not like it - but they have a right to be heard - as long as it is not riot-mongering speech.
.

What Jamat and it's student wing is doing now...


They should be taken to court for ^^^
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  #7  
Old January 28, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpurush
What Jamat and it's student wing is doing now...


They should be taken to court for ^^^
Sure - but they still have a right to exist as a political party - unless they foster terrorist activities. So to delegalize the party - one must do so by the rule of law as well. And the outcome of the court decision should withstand the test of regimes - unless conditions imposed by that court of law is met.
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  #8  
Old January 28, 2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsayeed
Sure - but they still have a right to exist as a political party - unless they foster terrorist activities.
Agreed.

Regardless of what political party it is, i.e., Jamat, BNP, BAL whoever does harm or act against national interests, should be prosecuted accordingly.
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  #9  
Old January 28, 2013, 11:01 PM
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The thing is, if parties like Jamaat come into power, the other religious minorities will be ignored, harassed and perhaps discriminated.
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  #10  
Old January 28, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maysun
The thing is, if parties like Jamaat come into power, the other religious minorities will be ignored, harassed and perhaps discriminated.
That is why it so very important to disassociate the executive and judicial branches. Even in US there is a fragile bond - as the constituency of the Supreme court is a function of what party has executive control plus the house and senate control - because only nominated candidates get into the supreme court - that is after the confirmation hearings - but the executive nominates his/her liking. How do Supreme court judges get nominated/appointed in Bangladesh?

It is so important to separate the two.
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  #11  
Old January 29, 2013, 12:11 AM
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Religion-based political parties and the Bangladesh Constitution



Barrister Harun Ur Rashid
On June 30th, the Bangladesh Parliament passed the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, and it was signed by the President on July 3rd. The Constitution now comes into effect with the assent of the president.
The Constitution of 1972 has gone through 14 amendments, the last of which was adopted in May 2004.
The 15th Amendment to the Constitution brought 55 changes, some of them reversions to the 1972 constitution, following the judgment of the apex court on the illegality of the fifth, eighth and thirteenth amendments.
The opposition party BNP boycotted not only the sessions of the Parliament when the 15th Amendment was passed but also the deliberations of the special parliamentary committee on constitutional amendments.
One of the amended ones is Article 12, which prohibited religion-based politics. The question is whether a political party's name with the words "Muslim" or "Islamic" or "Hindu" or "Christian" is prohibited under the constitution.
The answer to the query is in the negative because it is not just the name of the parties that matters.
What matters is whether a political party wants to change the structure of the constitution and laws of a state on the basis of a particular religious set of guidelines. In such circumstances, it is considered using religion for political purposes and is counter to the Constitution of Bangladesh, which is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious state.
When political parties in their manifestoes want to change the structure, system of government, judiciary and laws of a state in accordance with the principles and beliefs of a particular religion among multi-religious citizens, people of other faiths in such a state perceive gross discrimination on the basis of religion. Such discrimination is arguably untenable under the Bangladesh Constitution.
In many European countries, political parties have prefixed the name of a religion, such as Germany's Christian Democratic Union and Christian Union in the Netherlands. In Pakistan, it is Muslim League, and there are parties with Hindu names in India.
Although many political parties in Europe have prefixed the word "Christian," there appears to be no intention to change the basic structure of a state's existing structural system and laws on Biblical doctrines.
The word "dharmanirekhapata" (religious pluralism) is to be distinguished from non-involvement with religion. Religious pluralism implies governmental engagement with religion for the purpose of treating all religious groups fairly, equally and equitably, while non-involvement implies governmental isolation from matters of religion.
It is argued that in the background of festering and destructive communal politics in British India, religious pluralism and Bengali-language based nationalism constituted the spirit of the Liberation War of 1971. The fact that Pakistani Muslim soldiers committed crimes against humanity against Bengali Muslims in 1971 demonstrates that commonality of religion could not hold back the Pakistani soldiers from committing such nefarious crimes.
Religious pluralism is a golden thread running through the Constitution that was adopted on November 4, 1972. The concept of freedom of religion is further stipulated in Article 41 of the Constitution, which is as follows:
"(1) Subject to law, public order and morality:
(a) every citizen has the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion;
(b) every religious community or denomination has the right to establish, maintain, and manage its religious institutions
(2) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or to take part in or to attend any religious ceremony or worship, if that instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than this own."Article 41 is founded upon on religious pluralism. In Bangladesh, people of various faiths are deeply religious, and the most devoutly religious people are also the staunchest defenders of religious pluralism.


The writer is a former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Geneva.


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  #12  
Old January 29, 2013, 12:30 AM
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^ so the constitution is protected against religious bias- what of the other laws that are not part of the constitution. I mean there are differences between a change in the constitution (amendment) and a law.

If the other laws are protected as well - then we need worry about segregation. But we are - hence - there is a loophole.

(PS - by the same token - you cannot ban a party because of their religious makeup - ie - they are protected)
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  #13  
Old January 29, 2013, 01:15 AM
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Religion and Politics should be kept totally separate. Political parties are about how to move the country forward by setting policies. You don't need religious scholars but people with strategic vision and sound administration skills. The moment you start to use religion or god as a tool to buy votes then you are not playing fair with other political parties. People do not need to know if the political leaders are faithful to god or not, what they need to know is whether the political leader have the ability, skills and desire to govern and make the country flourish.
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  #14  
Old January 29, 2013, 01:16 AM
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^ you can tell that to the entire Bible Belt in the good old US of A!
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:43 AM
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The answer is a big fat NO from me. In a 'democratic' country, such parties/groups should seize to exist as they have no place in the political spectrum. Same may be said for the communist parties. The fact of the matter is the Jamaat Islami are an undemocratic party who are using and abusing the democratic process/system and they must be outlawed from practicing altogether. Would a hindu, christian, buddhist, jew, athiest etc. be allowed to join their party? We ultimately know the answer to this, this party has no place in our multi faith secular society
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  #16  
Old January 29, 2013, 06:16 AM
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Ideally no but practically YES - Ban them and they go underground. The gullible in our society will be brainwashed into believing that Islam is under threat in Bangladesh (many already do) and unnecessary tumult will ensue. I don't see Jamaat or any other Islamic party forming the government anytime soon other than perhaps as part of a coalition government. If the government can tie Jamaat into this war-crime trial and prove that they are an anti-liberation party and ban them all the while convincing the majority of the public of the same then kudos to them.
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  #17  
Old January 29, 2013, 06:30 AM
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All this sudden attack by Jamat is really something to worry about
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  #18  
Old January 29, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsayeed
^ so the constitution is protected against religious bias- what of the other laws that are not part of the constitution. I mean there are differences between a change in the constitution (amendment) and a law.

If the other laws are protected as well - then we need worry about segregation. But we are - hence - there is a loophole.

(PS - by the same token - you cannot ban a party because of their religious makeup - ie - they are protected)
The Constitution is the supreme law of Bangladesh. If any law in the country is incompatible with the Constitution then it is rendered null and void. Therefore, if there is some law that is religiously discriminatory, then that can be brought before the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh under Article 102 of the Constitution (our Judicial Review clause) through a writ petition and set aside/quashed etc.

In addition to Article 41 cited in that article by Barrister Harun-ur-Rashid, I'll refer you to some other constitutional provisions that are key:

- The Preamble: which after the 15th Amendment, retains "Bismillah-Ar-Rahman-Ar-Rahim" but also re-institutes "nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism" as the fundamental principles of the Constitution.

- Article 2A: "The state religion of the Republic is Islam, but the State shall ensure equal status and equal right in the practice of the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and other religions."
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsayeed
How do Supreme court judges get nominated/appointed in Bangladesh?

It is so important to separate the two.
I can answer that!

Article 95 sets out the procedure for how Judges are appointed in Bangladesh:

"95.(1) The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President, and the other Judges shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice.

(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge unless he is a citizen of Bangladesh and -

(a) has, for not less than ten years, been an advocate of the Supreme Court; or
(b) has, for not less than ten years, held judicial office in the territory of Bangladesh; or
(c) has such qualifications as may be prescribed by law for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court

And, as our Presidents come from the ruling party, there is no true separation of powers at all.
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:59 PM
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^ Navo Bhai - thanks for your learned responses.

Sad on your last line - Executive and Judicial Branch are Hand in Glove - A recipe for Disaster. In US there is just 1 degree of separation - President nominates - and congressional committee approves. Where some check or balance can take place - but not much - but more than 0.
As long as this article 95 is not amended - the country's legal system will be a tool.

I think you are a lawyer - but then reading McInnes comments and the BC comments afterwards - some brave souls must do something.

Again thanks.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsayeed
^ Navo Bhai - thanks for your learned responses.

Sad on your last line - Executive and Judicial Branch are Hand in Glove - A recipe for Disaster. In US there is just 1 degree of separation - President nominates - and congressional committee approves. Where some check or balance can take place - but not much - but more than 0.
As long as this article 95 is not amended - the country's legal system will be a tool.

I think you are a lawyer - but then reading McInnes comments and the BC comments afterwards - some brave souls must do something.

Again thanks.
No problem zsayeed bhai. I was only recently called to the Bar in England and I am still awaiting the announcement of the Bar entrance exams here in Bangladesh, but I try to keep abreast of constitutional affairs in the meantime.

To what I said above, I'd add that there is a convention that Chief Justices are appointed by the President according to seniority but unfortunately, we've seen junior judges supersede senior judges due to their perceived 'views'. (Even though, there is another constitutional provision that enshrines the complete independence of the judiciary from political influence.) While this can be quite blatant in Bangladesh, if you note American examples, even there judges are sometimes appointed to the Supreme Court bench based on their history of ruling on abortions, gay marriage, gun rights, etc. I find such a system to be deeply problematic and agree that greater measures need to be taken to make effective the independence of the judiciary.

Another thing about our appointment system, as compared to the American one, is that our judges have to retire by 67 while in the US, there is no real retirement age for Supreme Court judges. As a result, many BD Chief Justices only hold the post for 2-3 years. (This has both pros and cons.)
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:08 AM
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Ah! I was looking for a tech-savvy BD lawyer for a long time!

I have a question. Does Bangladesh have a centralized platform or database to search all publicly available case files online? If not, is there any government or non-gov. initiative being taken to implement this? I am interested in doing this myself as SaaS platform for lawyers and law enforcers.

I recently had the pleasure to oversee a case being handled by a mid-level lawyer from beginning and I was appalled to learned that they had to search manually to see if an individual/organisation has a case history and they could only do it if they had specific information about that person or specific case numbers. Otherwise you are out of luck. This could mean literally months if not years of delay in cases going forward.

Do you think there is a demand for something like this in BD?
Do you think it will benefit people/legal-system/country?
Do you think it will be relatively easy/difficult to hard-copy access case files so that I can make online database? (I am not talking about only high-court cases).

I know something like this will need significant funds and time, I think I can manage that - I have already outlined the technical implementation on software-side and I think its relatively easy and a lot of it can be automated with OCR and industrial sized scanners. But I am doubtful on how easy it is to actually access 100,000s (if not millions) of case files, without paying a huge fee.

If you can decrease the log-jam of cases from months/years to merely seconds, I think it will help the country move forward.
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Old January 30, 2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah
Ah! I was looking for a tech-savvy BD lawyer for a long time!

I have a question. Does Bangladesh have a centralized platform or database to search all publicly available case files online? If not, is there any government or non-gov. initiative being taken to implement this? I am interested in doing this myself as SaaS platform for lawyers and law enforcers.

I recently had the pleasure to oversee a case being handled by a mid-level lawyer from beginning and I was appalled to learned that they had to search manually to see if an individual/organisation has a case history and they could only do it if they had specific information about that person or specific case numbers. Otherwise you are out of luck. This could mean literally months if not years of delay in cases going forward.

Do you think there is a demand for something like this in BD?
Do you think it will benefit people/legal-system/country?
Do you think it will be relatively easy/difficult to hard-copy access case files so that I can make online database? (I am not talking about only high-court cases).

I know something like this will need significant funds and time, I think I can manage that - I have already outlined the technical implementation on software-side and I think its relatively easy and a lot of it can be automated with OCR and industrial sized scanners. But I am doubtful on how easy it is to actually access 100,000s (if not millions) of case files, without paying a huge fee.

If you can decrease the log-jam of cases from months/years to merely seconds, I think it will help the country move forward.
Hi! I really, really like the point you made but as it's not related to the topic of the thread, I'll PM you my response.
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  #24  
Old January 30, 2013, 11:45 AM
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The farther you keep religion and religious groups from politics, the better. Two should never mix. Separation of religion and state and all that.

Whether they ought to have the right is a diff. question though.
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Old January 30, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BANFAN
Why not...let people decide what and whom they want. Wo are you or me or the govt to decide ??
Our founding fathers formed this country in the principal of secularism and equal rights. Our laws should be equal for all citizens of Bangladesh and it is our job to protect those rights.

I want to re-emphasize the words of Barrister Harun ur Rashid
"When political parties in their manifestoes want to change the structure, system of government, judiciary and laws of a state in accordance with the principles and beliefs of a particular religion among multi-religious citizens, people of other faiths in such a state perceive gross discrimination on the basis of religion. Such discrimination is arguably untenable under the Bangladesh Constitution."
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